Just 20 years ago, a cell phone was a little device with 9 physical number keys, a button for calling and ending calls, and little else.

Today, however, you can do almost everything on your smartphone — from playing video games, to shopping online and browsing the web, and even storing credit cards on your phone in a digital wallet.

Speaking of credit cards: if you’re an Apple fan, you are now able to actually accept credit card payments directly on your iPhone.

In this article, we’ll discuss what you can do with credit cards on iPhones now and what Apple could add in the future.

Storing, Using, and Accepting Credit Cards

Apple’s iPhones are essentially one-stop shops for managing payments — yours and other people’s.

Here are some ways you can use your iPhone to manage credit cards.

Apple Wallet

Apple released Apple Wallet as Apple Passbook in 2012. It was renamed to Apple Wallet in 2015 with the release of iOS 9.

This feature allowed iPhone users to store tickets, passes, and similar items digitally on their iPhone. That way, they didn’t need to pull out these passes or even carry them around — making things more convenient and reducing the risk of losing a ticket or pass.

Apple Pay

Apple Pay was then released 2 years later, in 2014. This lets users store their credit cards in their Passbooks (and later, Wallets). With this update, users could leave their credit cards at home if they wanted.

Instead, you could just pick the proper card on your iPhone and use it to pay anywhere that accepts Apple Pay.

Apple Tap to Pay

On March 14th, Apple released iOS 15.4, which debuted the Tap to Pay feature. This allows iPhones to accept contactless payments from credit cards, debit cards, Apple Pay, and other digital wallets — even some cryptocurrencies.

As a result, small business owners now have the opportunity to accept payments from customers without investing in point-of-sale software. Customers simply tap their card on the back of the phone. Using near-field communication (NFC) tech, the iPhone can record the payment.

This can save businesses a lot of money and simplify their operations.

The Apple iPhone: A Credit Card and Payments Hub

Thanks to tech innovations from smartphone makers like Apple, managing credit cards and payments is easier than ever.

Apple Wallet and Apple Pay let you store and use digital passes and tickets, as well as your credit cards. Now, you can accept payments from others as well.

Ultimately, small business owners and solopreneurs can now run most, if not all their operations directly on their iPhone.

That said, we’ll have to wait and see what other payment-related innovations Apple brings forward in the future.