Apple logo on facade of glass building
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 19, 2024 ·  4 min read

New iPhone Feature is Worrying People After Concerned it Will ‘Increase Street Robberies’

Apple’s latest iOS update introduces a feature designed to simplify peer-to-peer payments, but it has sparked concern among users about potential security risks. The new iPhone feature “Tap to Cash” feature allows iPhone users to transfer money by simply tapping their phones together. While this might promise convenience, it has also raised some alarm bells regarding potential misuse and implications for street crimes.

The Convenience of Tap to Cash

tap to cash
Credit: Apple

“Tap to Cash” is designed to streamline the nuisance of settling payments among friends and acquaintances. Splitting a bill at a restaurant or reimbursing someone for a shared expense usually involves multiple steps, including requesting payments through apps like Venmo or Cash App. The new iPhone feature aims to eliminate these steps by enabling instant money transfers with a simple tap between two iPhones.1

This technology leverages Near Field Communication (NFC), similar to the existing Tap to Pay feature used in retail settings. Apple touts this as a secure and efficient way to handle personal transactions without needing contact information, theoretically enhancing user convenience.2

Read More: Apple Adds Popular iPhone to Its ‘Obsolete’ List

Initial Enthusiasm and Potential Benefits

Apple Cash on screen
Credit: Apple

In markets like the United States, where mobile banking apps might not be as universally integrated or as seamless as in other parts of the world, “Tap to Cash” could offer a significant improvement. It integrates with Apple Cash, allowing users to manage their funds within the Apple ecosystem easily. This could be particularly beneficial for users who are already accustomed to using Apple Pay for their transactions.

Additionally, the new iPhone feature is seen as a natural extension of the Apple ecosystem’s convenience. It aligns with Apple’s broader strategy of integrating more financial tools into its devices, offering users a cohesive and user-friendly experience. In Canada, Apple has successfully implemented similar technology for businesses, allowing them to accept payments using only an iPhone, which speaks to the potential success of Tap to Cash among individual users.

Security Concerns and Public Reaction

California, United States - Sept 21 2023: Apple Security, Privacy Issues - Lock, Unlock. Silhouette of a hand holding a Magnifying glass in front of the Apple Logo
Source: Shutterstock

Despite the anticipated convenience, the “Tap to Cash” announcement has not been without its critics. Many users have taken to social media to express their concerns about the new iPhone feature’s security implications. Comments like “Scamming gonna be so easy in a few years” and “New pickpocketing method just dropped” reflect a widespread apprehension that the feature could be exploited by thieves and scammers.

The main fear is that the ease of tapping phones to transfer money could lead to increased street robberies. Individuals might find themselves targeted by criminals who could force them to transfer funds on the spot. Additionally, there are concerns about accidental transfers or unauthorized access if a phone is stolen.3

The Need for Robust Safeguards

Apple announcing Tap to Cash
Credit: Apple

Given these concerns, it is crucial for Apple to implement robust security measures. While Apple has a track record of incorporating advanced security features like Face ID and encrypted transactions, users need reassurance that these safeguards will be effective in real-world scenarios. Specifically, Apple must clarify how it plans to prevent unauthorized transactions while using the new iPhone feature and what steps users can take to protect themselves.

Furthermore, Apple should consider providing users with the option to disable the feature entirely. This flexibility would allow those who are particularly concerned about security to opt out, thus maintaining control over their financial safety.

Read More: Could Taking Your Phone to Bed at Night Increase Your Risk of Certain Cancers?

Comparisons with Existing Technologies

Tap to Pay already works for businesses
Credit: Apple

The Tap to Pay feature, which uses similar technology, has been successful in retail environments where transactions are monitored and controlled. However, transferring this concept to peer-to-peer interactions introduces new variables and risks. In retail, transactions are usually between a customer and a merchant with a clear record of the transaction. In contrast, personal interactions lack this level of oversight, potentially making them more vulnerable to misuse.

The success of similar features in Canada, where businesses can accept payments using only an iPhone, demonstrates the technology’s potential. But since these transactions won’t be occurring in a business context, the informal and personal nature of this new iPhone feature creates a new set of issues.

Apple’s Response and the Road Ahead

Apple has yet to provide detailed information on the security measures specific to “Tap to Cash“. This lack of detail has only fueled speculation and concern. For the new iPhone feature to gain user trust, Apple needs to address these concerns directly, outlining how it will ensure transaction security and prevent misuse.

Moreover, public education on using this feature safely will be essential. Users need to understand the potential risks and the steps they can take to mitigate them. This could include guidelines on setting transaction limits, enabling additional authentication steps, and staying vigilant in public spaces.


Nizhny Novgorod, Russia - March 28, 2019: Close-up view of girl using Apple Pay on a iphone paying for purchases
Source: Shutterstock

While Apple’s new iPhone feature promises to revolutionize the way we handle peer-to-peer payments, it also brings significant security concerns. The convenience of tapping phones to transfer money could be overshadowed by the potential for misuse and increased street crimes. As Apple prepares to roll out “this feature “Tap to Cash”, it must address these concerns head-on, providing detailed safeguards and user options to ensure it enhances, rather than compromises, user safety. Only with these measures in place can this feature be a truly transformative and secure addition to the iOS ecosystem.

Read More: Teen Almost Dead After Phone Charger Accident Leaves His Neck Scarred With 4th Degree Burns


  1. Newly announced iPhone feature causes backlash after users warn it will ‘increase street robberies’.” Unilad. Kit Roberts. June 11, 2024.
  2. Apple launches Tap to Pay on iPhone in Canada.” Apple. May 23, 2024
  3. Apple’s convenient new wallet feature makes me nervous.” Pocket. Oliver Vandervoort. June 2024.