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Apple Plans Service That Allows Direct Payment to Phones

Small businesses would no longer have to attach an external device to process payments on their iPhones.
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Apple reportedly is working on a service that will allow small businesses to take payments directly on their iPhones without any additional hardware.

The news came from Bloomberg, which cited knowledgeable sources. They said Apple may make the new capability available with a software update in coming months

Small business people will be able to take payments by customers tapping their credit cards. If a small business wants to take payment on an iPhone now, it must attach a payment device or communicate to the phone through Bluetooth. The new service makes the phone itself a payment terminal, Bloomberg reports.

The new offering could have an effect on payment processors that utilize iPhones, such as market leader Square, which is part of Block Inc. SQ, Bloomberg reports. If Apple allows any app to utilize the new capabilities, then Square can keep taking payments on iPhones without the use of any hardware.

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But if Apple makes businesses go through Apple’s own payment processing services, that could challenge Square and others, Bloomberg notes.

Apple reports earnings for its December quarter after the close of trading Thursday. Analysts’ forecast the company will register sales of $119 billion, up 7% from a year earlier, Barron’s reports. And analysts anticipate profit of $1.90 a share, up from $1.68.

On Wednesday, Counterpoint Research said Apple was the top-selling smartphone vendor in China, the world's biggest handset market, over the three months ending in December, with sales boosted by a post-pandemic rebound in demand and the release of its signature iPhone 13 earlier in the autumn.