Apple has acquired Mobeewave Inc., a startup whose technology allows iPhones to act as mobile payment terminals, Bloomberg reports, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Mobeewave’s technology lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment. The system works with an app and doesn’t require hardware beyond a Near Field Communications, or NFC, chip, which iPhones have included since 2014.
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant paid about $100 million for the startup, one of the people said. Mobeewave had dozens of employees, and Apple has retained the team, which continues to work out of Montreal, according to the people familiar.
Apple typically buys startups to turn their technology into features of its products… Integrating Mobeewave could let anyone with an iPhone accept payments without additional hardware. This would put Apple into more direct competition with Square Inc., a leading provider of payment hardware and software for smartphones and tablets.
MacDailyNews Take: No dongle required! Watch out, Square!
Note: Apple added NFC chips to iPads starting with the iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2, and the third-generation iPad Mini, but those and subsequent iPads currently do not work with in-store contactless readers.