There are already a zillion ways to send money to people:
banks, Venmo, Square Cash, Google, and even social networks
like Facebook and Snapchat have gotten in on the act. But Apple
is reportedly looking to build a money transfer feature into
Apple Pay so iPhone users can send money to each other.
Recode, Apple has been in talks with payment processors and
banks about a Venmo-like service for two years, but nothing has
happened—yet. Those talks are back on, and we may see an Apple
Pay money transfer feature as soon as this year.
Apple would approach money transfers a little differently from
existing services, Recode reported. In recent talks with Visa,
Apple pitched the idea of a prepaid Visa debit card linked to
Apple Pay’s wallet—so not physical cards, just digital
ones—that would make transferred money immediately available to
spend. When you transfer money to a friend with Venmo, for
instance, it takes a few days for the cash to clear their bank
account. Apple would solve that problem.
Venmo lets you easily transfer money to pay for festival
tickets, drinks, and even rent.
But it’s unclear if Apple would incentivize Apple Pay users to
sign up for yet another card when they already have debit cards
with their banks. Recode says those banks are wary of Apple’s
money transfer service precisely because of that debit card
plan, which would put Apple’s card above existing cards in the
Wallet app and position Apple in direct competition with its
banking partners. But that’s not necessarily the case,
particularly if Apple doesn’t offer any reason to switch cards.
iPhone users trust Apple’s dedication to privacy and security
and might be more likely to use Apple Pay to transfer money
versus a service like Venmo or Square Cash. An Apple Pay money
transfer feature would almost certainly boost adoption. While
Apple Pay is
quick and easy to use for in-store payments, people still
aren’t using it very often,
at least not in the U.S. They are, however, using Apple Pay
to shop online. A money transfer feature would add another
element to Apple Pay and increase users’ comfort level with the
mobile payment service.