The move from Apple to integrate contactless payment acceptance directly onto iphones is one that elevates the anticipated growth of alternative payments in the coming year. 

David, Maisey, CEO at MultiPay Global Solutions, emphasised that Apple’s move into the market can represent a positive moment for merchants as they look to evolve their user experience in the new year. 

Maisey stated on Apple’s move:The timing of this news is key and underlines the anticipated growth of alternative payments. Apple never enters a market unless it knows it can make a significant return on investment, which is a huge sign that alternative payments are set to take off. 

“One or two years ago this wasn’t the case, but now apps and alternative payment methods are the most exciting topics in payments. This is also likely to be part of a bigger play too. By owning the hardware – in this case, mobile devices – and software, Apple would only need to go through the process of becoming an acquirer for it to own the full end-to-end payment experience, giving it a possible competitive advantage.

“If Apple does enter the market, then it will be more good news for merchants and retailers as it gives them more choice and control of the payment systems they use. A solution running on an Apple device will also likely be quite low cost – at least initially – as there will be no upfront expense for hardware. However, there is a limit on the size of business that can adopt an Apple device powered contactless payment solution. As businesses grow, they must provide more options to consumers in how they pay, which will mean dedicated terminals will always have their place in the market.”

According to the original report from Bloomberg on the story, Apple’s move into the sector could come in the form of a software update in the coming months as the completed version of iOS 15.4 looms on the horizon. 

Maisey also mapped what he believes may be one of the key challenges for Apple, as he concluded: “One big issue that Apple will need to overcome is changing consumer behaviours. This is never an easy or quick process. The adoption of contactless payments for instance didn’t take off in the UK until the 2012 Olympics when people began to realise they could pay to travel on Transport for London (TfL) with just a tap of their card to the various events and venues. Apple entering this space could speed up a change in appetite for alternative payments and help create more opportunities for all the exciting alternative payment solutions that are set to launch this year.”