Apple Pay customers will be able to make crypto payments at regular retailers and businesses using the iPhone’s Tap to Pay feature. Apple has revealed plans to introduce Tap to Pay on the iPhone, a new feature that basically transforms the smartphone into a point-of-sale device for companies and merchants.
According to the announcement, owing to near-field communication technology, or NFC, iPhone-owning shops may accept contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a point-of-sale system. Apple’s soon-to-be-released Tap to Pay feature will support “Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets,” according to the company. Customers who have a Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card, or a similar payments card will be able to use their bitcoin holdings to make payments using Tap to Pay unless Apple puts a direct obstacle in the way.
While Apple has named Stripe, an Irish-American fintech, as the first platform to support the iPhone’s Tap to Pay functionality, the company has also stated that “other payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.” Coinbase, a major crypto exchange, merged with Apple Pay and Google Pay in August 2021, allowing customers to buy crypto assets on its platform. According to Cointelegraph, the move allowed users in the United States to buy cryptocurrency using bank-issued debit and credit cards using Apple Pay, a mainstream payment channel.
Coinbase Card was launched in June 2021, allowing users to spend cryptocurrencies in traditional ways: “Coinbase will automatically convert all cryptocurrency to US Dollars and transfer the funds to your Coinbase Card (less conversion fees) for use in purchases and ATM withdrawals,” according to the company.
Crypto exchange Crypto.com followed suit and announced the Crypto.com Visa Card, which can be used with Apple Pay and other major digital wallets. In their statement, Apple stated that “Contactless credit and debit cards from popular payment networks, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa, will work with Tap to Pay on iPhone.” Apple Pay customers will be able to use the iPhone’s Tap to Pay function to make crypto payments across mainstream retailers and businesses, thanks to Coinbase’s ability to convert a user’s crypto holdings to fiat in real-time for payments.
While Apple Pay is unlikely to allow direct purchases of goods and services using Bitcoin (BTC), it will convert the user’s crypto holdings to the dollar amount needed by the merchant’s point-of-sale equipment in order to complete the transaction.