iPhone users may be able to accept credit card payments from other people without needing extra hardware in the future. According to Bloomberg, Apple has acquired a startup called Mobeewave Inc., which is behind a technology that can turn iPhones into payment terminals. The tech giant reportedly paid $100 million for the company and will retain its employees who still work out of Montreal.
Mobeewave’s technology only requires an app and a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip to work. Users don’t have to attach any accessory to their phones — all they need to do is input the transaction amount in the app and then tap a card or another smartphone onto the back of their device. As Bloomberg notes, Apple rival Samsung teamed up with Mobeewave last year to turn some of its phones into payment terminals for small businesses.
An Apple spokesperson didn’t confirm the acquisition outright, only giving the publication a standard response:
“Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
The tech giant did snap up a few smaller companies over the past months. Back in January, it purchased Seattle-based AI startup, Xnor.ai, which developed a way to operate AI on devices rather than in the cloud. It also purchased virtual reality startup NextVR, which is known for its partnerships with sports entities, such as the NBA.