Use your iPhone to accept contactless payments, not just pay for things

If you want to sell something in person and collect payment with your iPhone, it’s now much easier to do. Normally, sellers would need to register as a merchant with one of the big banks and have to pay for an EFTPOS terminal. Thanks to the new “Tap-to-Pay on iPhone” feature now available in Square and Zeller’ e-commerce apps, sellers of all sizes can accept payments with no additional hardware such as a card reader, EFTPOS machine, cash register or point-of-sale system. While launched in the US late last year, Australia is the only other market where Square and Zeller’s contactless payment feature is available.

And just like regular transactions using a payment terminal, your iPhone will accept major credit and debit cards, as well as phone-based payments using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. It will also work with compatible devices such as smartwatches and tablets.

According to Square, the Tap-to-Pay on iPhone feature is well suited to both new and established sellers and offers a number of benefits:

  • Mobile professionals like tradies and caterers have the ability to securely accept contactless payments onsite at their project location
  • Retailers gain new efficiency through line busting and the convenience of helping shoppers complete their purchase wherever they are in store
  • Hairstylists and beauty professionals benefit from the speed and ease of enabling customers to pay for their services right from their chair

Apple doesn’t directly charge buyers or sellers to use the feature, however, both Square and Zeller will extract a fee. Sellers can pass this on to the customer, should they want to.

Privacy and security

Tap-to-Pay on iPhone uses the same NFC (Near Field Communication) technology as other popular contactless payment methods, and shares the security and privacy features of Apple Pay. Essentially, when a payment is processed, Apple doesn’t store card numbers on the device or its servers. Buyers can use FaceID or a fingerprint to authorize their payment, and a pin code can also be requested for added security.

Apple Pay has been used and trusted by major Australian banks and financial institutions for over 5 years, with no major security issues. Read more on Apple Pay security and privacy protection.

Setting up with Square and Zeller

With Square, account holders simply open the Square POS, Square for Retail, or Square Appointments app, make a sale, enter the amount to be charged, and present their iPhone to the buyer for a contactless transaction.

Square sellers will be charged a processing fee of 1.9% per transaction.

Jeremy Sproull, one of the first businesses in Australia to use Square’s Tap-to-Pay on iPhone feature in his nursery, Jez’s Seedlings, said: “Sellers can get set up in minutes and begin making sales in seconds.”

The process is similar with Zeller, which is an Australian Fintech that helps businesses through a range of financial services. All that’s needed is the Zeller app, then a user enables the Tap-to-Pay on iPhone feature, enter an amount for the transaction, and the customer holds their card or phone on top of the seller’s iPhone for the payment to complete. A receipt can then be forwarded to the customer via SMS or email. 

Zeller charges sellers a 1.4% fee for each transaction.

Both Square and Zeller’s Tap-to-Pay on iPhone services are available to Australian businesses through updating to the latest build of their apps. Contactless payments will work with iPhone XS and later devices that are running the latest version of iOS.

Tyro and Westpac were the initial Australian launch partners to offer the Tap-to-Pay on iPhone feature back in May 2023, and have since been joined by ANZ, Stripe, and Adyen.

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