Original article was published by Faisal Khan on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Apple intends to turn its iPhones into payment terminals
Its acquisition of Canadian startup Mobeewave would allow users to tap a credit card or smartphone on another phone to process payments
Technology companies have seen their footprint get even bigger in the current pandemic. Not only have their market caps appreciated by leaps & bounds driving the market rebound from March lows, but they have also shown that they are indispensable in the current crisis. Apple has been the leader of the pack becoming the most valuable company in the world by market cap ($1.894 trillion as of Aug. 3, 2020).
Apple has been actively venturing into the digital payment space for the past little while. The company’s first step towards the future of money came in the shape of the Apple Card which was launched last year. The current crisis has highlighted the utility of digital payments as people shifted from paper-based transactions.
In continuing endeavors in that direction, the smartphone giant has now acquired a Canadian startup, which offers technology that could turn iPhones into mobile payment terminals. Montreal-based Mobeewave Inc. — offers innovative technology that lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment.
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” ~ Apple spokesman
The company basically offers a software-based solution, which does not need any additional hardware beyond a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip — something Apple has included in its iPhones since 2014. According to the Bloomberg report, Apple paid about $100 million for the startup with Moobewave retaining most of its employees, who would continue to work out of Montreal.
2014 was the same year when Apple added the Apple Pay feature to its flagship phone — allowing users to pay for physical goods with a tap in retail stores. This acquisition puts Apple directly in competition with Square — a leading provider of payment hardware & software for smartphones & tablets, along with processing a record number of bitcoin transactions.
Samsung collaborated with Moobewave in a similar move last year to allow its phones to use the same technology. With Apple sitting on a huge pile of cash, it continues to acquire smaller startups to convert them into features for its proprietary hardware. Recent list includes — weather app Dark Sky, VR content broadcasting company NextVR, Voysis, Xnor.ai and Inductiv to improve Siri and artificial intelligence, and Fleetsmith for enterprise device management.