Apple has announced that it will release a new Tap to Pay feature for the iPhone. This innovation would transform the smartphone into a contactless payment terminal. Is Bitcoin able to compete?
Merchants will be able to unlock contactless payment acceptance using a supporting iOS app once Tap to Pay on iPhone debuts. The customer will be asked to hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the merchant’s iPhone during checkout, and the payment will be made securely via NFC technology. Accepting contactless payments does not necessitate any additional hardware. Customers’ payment data is likewise protected with Tap to Pay on iPhone, according to Apple, and all transactions performed through the service are encrypted.
We have to bear in mind that new technology has to be better and easier than the predecessor in order to be widely adopted. But does bitcoin have to be better and easier than Apple’s ‘Tap to Pay’?
What if we imagine that the both can benefit each other? If Apple wants to compete with CashApp they better hurry to integrate Lightning Network capabilities too. The open, permissionless payments layer of bitcoin called Lightning Network allows true peer-to-peer transactions with almost no fees and no direct intermediariers.
As we could witness with the failed roll-out of China’s CBDC, mobile payment and digital wallet services like Google Pay, Apple Pay or tencent’s WeChat Pay, could ultimately be of help for bitcoin.
Private payment providers have an interest to stay competitive and profitable. But what happens if a player decides to disrupt the entire industry? Will Apple and Google try to lobby for regulations to ban bitcoin and lightning? It would only be a waste of money and harm their own position.
The tech giants are competitive despite their enormous market power and could be a great help for bitcoin on its mission to end the fiat dynasty.
A push towards P2P payments and handing every user a POS merchant app all seems to aid privatization of money and disrupting closed source fiat-rails.