Apple's latest acquisition could turn iPhones into payment terminals

Apple Acquired Mobeewave, a Startup That Lets Smartphones Accept Payments Using NFC

Mobeewave technology lets shoppers tap their credit card or smartphone on another phone to process a payment.

The Cupertino, California-based innovation giant paid about $100 million for the startup, one of the individuals said.

So unlike Square, which depends on a card reader for payments, Mobeewave's technology can accept payments from NFC-equipped cards and smartphones with a tap.

Samsung Electronics Co. partnered with Mobeewave previous year to allow its phones to use the technology.

The technology doesn't need an app or hardware like a Square Terminal to work, using a smartphone's NFC chip instead. iPhones have had NFC chips since 2014.

Apple confirmed the acquisition with its typical statement: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our goal or plans".

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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. Incorporating Mobeewave could let anybody with an iPhone acknowledge installments without extra equipment. Usually, Apple is known for the companies it buys off its services on Android and other platforms.

The tech giant did snap up a few smaller companies over the past months. It also purchased virtual reality startup NextVR, which is known for its partnerships with sports entities, such as the National Basketball Association.

According to its website, Moobeewave believes that payments "should be simple, frictionless and effortless" for both clients and merchants.

Users can process credit card payments using the app in three easy steps. Mobeewave had dozens of employees, and Apple has retained the team, which continues to work out of Montreal, according to the people familiar.

If and when Apple launches this product, then it would be competing against major payments companies like Jack Dorsey's Square Inc., a provider of payment hardware and software for mobile devices.

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