Soft Space enables Tap to Pay on iPhone for stera tap iOS app in Japan

  • Partners with Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company and GMO Financial Gate, its investors
  • Allows SMEs to use easy, secure contactless payment handling with a single iPhone

Soft Space enables Tap to Pay on iPhone for stera tap iOS app in Japan

Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, Limited (SMCC), GMO Financial Gate, Inc (GMO-FG), SMBC GMO PAYMENT Inc (SGP) and Soft Space, a Malaysian fintech company providing payment services in Asia, announced that they have collaborated in Japan to enable Tap to Pay on the iPhone for “stera tap”, an iOS app provided by GMO-FG.

One of Japan’s largest payment processing companies, GMO-FG invested into Soft Space in March 2024. SMCC, which invested into Soft Space in April 2018, is one of Japan’s leading credit card companies. Neither investment details were made public. SGP is a joint venture created by GMO-FG and SMCC.

Enabling the service allows merchants in Japan to handle contactless payments using an iPhone in a simple and secure way. Merchants can now accept contactless credit and debit cards, Apple Pay and other digital wallets, using only the iPhone and the ‘stera tap’ iOS app with easy set-up. No additional hardware or payment terminals are required with merchants able to start accepting Visa and Mastercard contactless payment transactions in as little as 15 minutes after submitting their application on the app itself.

Joel Tay (main pic), CEO of Soft Space, said, “Enabling Apple Tap to Pay for stera tap is something we’ve been looking forward to since it launched on the 25th of March this year, as it further validates our status as the most complete SoftPOS solution provider in the market. We expect Apple Tap to Pay’s entry into Japan to spur SoftPOS growth and give banks and acquirers the confidence they need to start offering SoftPOS solutions to their merchants en-masse.”

Following Soft Space introducing Tap to Pay enablement in Australia in May 2023, Joel said Soft Space sees this achievement as the next step in its long-term roadmap to expand globally. “It is also a sign of our ongoing commitment to the enablement of cashless societies. Above all, we view this as a testament to the strong synergy and mutual understanding between us and our trusted investors, SMCC and GMO-FG, and a precursor of greater things to come.”

Contactless payments are expanding in Japan, with the acceptance rate among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) estimated at around 60%. The challenge for SMEs to accept contactless payments has been the hassle and cost of installing payment terminals.

The Apple Tap to Pay service requires an iPhone XS or later device with the latest version of iOS.

At checkout, merchants will simply prompt the customer to hold their contactless payment near the merchant’s iPhone, and the payment will be securely completed using NFC technology where Apple’s Tap to Pay on iPhone technology uses the built-in features of iPhone to keep the business and customer data private and secure.

When a payment is processed, Apple doesn’t store card numbers or transaction information on the device or on Apple servers. The security features of the service will appeal to privacy conscious Japanese consumers.

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