• Apple acquired a point-of-sale solutions startup, positioning it to move into the mobile point-of-sale space.
  • Moving into mPOS solutions would help Apple keep up with Samsung.
  • Insider Intelligence publishes hundreds of insights, charts, and forecasts on the Payments & Commerce industry with the Payments & Commerce Briefing. You can learn more about subscribing here.

Apple reportedly snapped up point-of-sale (POS) startup Mobeewave for nearly $100 million, bringing in its dozens of employees based in the startup’s Montreal headquarters, according to Bloomberg.

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Apple is moving into the mPOS space to capture more payments volume and keep up with Samsung.

Business Insider Intelligence


 Mobeewave develops POS solutions that enable mobile devices to accept contactless payments via an app without requiring additional hardware like dongles. For context, Samsung — one of Apple’s biggest competitors — previously partnered with Mobeewave and its venture capital arm invested in the firm.

The scoop up could bolster Apple’s payments business by turning iPhones into mobile POS (mPOS) devices. In October, Mobeewave helped Samsung introduce Samsung POS, an mPOS solution that lets some NFC-enabled Samsung devices accept debit and credit payments from contactless cards, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay through tapping a card or device on the mPOS device.

Bringing in Mobeewave may allow iPhones and other NFC-enabled Apple devices to do the same, giving Apple the chance to facilitate payments acceptance for more merchants. Debuting its own mPOS solution would also give the company a new avenue to promote Apple Pay and Apple Card, and to drive volume for its payments business, helping its services segment find more sources for revenue growth.

Moving into mPOS solutions would help Apple keep up with Samsung and pit it against POS bellwhethers like Square.

  • By bringing in Mobeewave’s dongle-free mPOS solutions, Apple can ensure it doesn’t fall behind Samsung and lose out on the volume mPOS solutions present. Samsung’s work with Mobeewave and major payment firms like Fiserv and Visa have put it at the forefront of the development of dongle-free mPOS tech. These solutions can be attractive to merchants: They make the in-store payment process more flexible, don’t require firms to spend on additional hardware — POS technology can cost hundreds of dollars and even less expensive options can be avoided if a merchant already has a Samsung device — and enable contactless payments, which are gaining popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. So, by offering dongle-free mPOS tech, Samsung has put itself in a good position to rack up volume. By acquiring Mobeewave, Apple can limit Samsung’s head start as an mPOS solution provider and compete in the market as it develops.
  • But if Apple moves into the mPOS space, it could face off with leading POS solution providers like Square. Apple’s potential mPOS offering would provide a streamlined and possibly inexpensive alternative to the POS terminals and tools provided by firms in the space, especially if its combined with its rumored plans for Apple Pay to support QR code and barcode payments. Apple could consider building out its POS offerings to compete with more in-depth solutions in the future but the wide reach of its devices — Apple boasted 900 million active iPhones at the end of 2018 — and simplicity of mPOS solutions could help it quickly gain adoption from merchants at first.

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