Apple soft PoS push creates rapid growth

  • August 15, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Apple’s entry into the sector will lead to the number of merchants deploying soft PoS to top 34.5 million globally by 2027, up from six million in 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Soft PoS enables NFC‑enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware. Apple’s entrance lets iOS users access an affordable mobile PoS app.

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft PoS leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services, leading to innovations for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft PoS capabilities, unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft PoS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space, building on Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft PoS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovations such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

The research anticipates soft PoS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments, with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard, forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable PoS. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft PoS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless PoS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft PoS vendors look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing products that meet their needs.

This year, Apple announced Tap to Pay on iPhone. This capability will empower millions of merchants across the USA, from small businesses to large retailers, to use their iPhone to accept, seamlessly and securely, Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone with no additional hardware or payment terminal needed.