Apple has reportedly acquired a startup to turn iPhones into payment terminals

Yolanda Curtis
August 2, 2020

Mobeewave's technology employs NFC communications to enable users to conduct payments by tapping a compatible credit card on a smartphone.

Apple recently purchased Mobeewave, a payments technology startup that developed technology capable of transforming an iPhone into a mobile payments terminal.

While Apple obviously hasn't said a thing about this acquisition, Bloomberg's sources suggest the Cupertino giant paid almost $100Mn for the acquisition.

Mobeewave partnered with Samsung Electronics in 2019 to test the technology on its phones while PitchBook also reported that Samsung's venture arm has also invested more than $20 million in the startup. Mobeewave's technology works with NFC, which is built into all modern iPhones.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our objective or plans", an Apple told Bloomberg confirming the deal.

The timing of Apple's acquisition is notable coming just days after CEO Tim Cook's virtual appearance before Congress on Wednesday to field uncomfortable questions about antitrust concerns. Apple can use it to compete with Square's point of sale system with Apple Play's service expansion. "Apple typically buys startups to turn their technology into features of its products", the report noted, adding that Mobeewave's tech could easily integrate with Apple Pay. After this purchase, Mobeewave can only be used as an iPhone POS device.

iPhone users may be able to accept credit card payments from other people without needing extra hardware in the future.

The tech giant did snap up a few smaller companies over the past months.

This would put Apple into more direct competition with Square Inc., a leading provider of payment hardware and software for smartphones and tablets. It also purchased virtual reality startup NextVR, which is known for its partnerships with sports entities, such as the National Basketball Association.

Apple is said to retain dozens of Mobeewave employees after the deal.

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