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Apple in talks to launch person-to-person Apple Pay mobile payments system in 2016


According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is actively in talks to launch a new person-to-person mobile payments service, like Apple Pay but for sending money between friends and family. Apple is in discussions with US banks to negotiate terms for the new service, which could launch next year. The publication says it is unclear if any deals have been struck to date and technical implementation details remain in flux.

Essentially, imagine AirDrop for mobile payments between people. This would essentially pit Apple Pay against other friend-to-friend payment solutions like PayPal’s Venmo, Facebook Messenger payments and similar services. Even Gmail offers person-to-person transactions right from the email client.

From the Wall Street Journal’s report, Apple has discussed the project with several US banks including Wells Fargo, Chase, Capital One and JP Morgan. According to current plans, Apple would not charge banks for processing person-to-person payments. This differs from the Apple Pay we know today, where banks pay a small fee on every transaction.

The report says that one possibility for Apple is to hook into an existing system called ‘clearXchange’ which uses checking accounts to send money via an email address or phone number. Apple would dress the service to make it super simple for iOS users, likely connected to an Apple ID behind the scenes.

The service under consideration would allow consumers to zap payments from their checking accounts to recipients through their Apple devices. The service would likely be linked to the company’s Apple Pay system, which allows customers to make credit-card and debit-card payments with their mobile phones.

Apple got a patent for person-to-person Apple Pay payments earlier in the year, so it’s definitely been on the table for while and is the obvious next step to expand Apple’s mobile payment offerings aside from supporting more countries.

Apple Pay is currently available as a customer-to-merchant transaction in the United States and the UK with a variety of supporting banks. Apple Pay is coming to Australia and Canada via American Express by the end of 2015 as well as several more countries next year.

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  1. AbsarokaSheriff - 7 years ago

    My friends who used Google Wallet raved about a capability like this. One could send money to his daughter in college instantly and she could use it from her debit card. This is the one thing Google Wallet got right, where it went wrong is with Credit Card fees. Emulating Apple Pay with Android Pay was a step in the right direction.

    So this is a welcome benefit for Apple Pay and if it’s done in the Apple Pay umbrella without being too complicated, even better.

  2. robertsm76 - 7 years ago

    Don’t most bank apps already do this? I know that the Bank of America App does.

    • Andrew Messenger - 7 years ago

      Which would be really useful if every person you know who owns an iPhone also had Bank of America.

      • Terrence Newton - 7 years ago

        Bank of America is also part of the ClearXchange network, so as a BofA customer, you can easily pay other people whose banks are part of the network, directly into their own p2p payment service (like Chase Quickpay). And of course aside from that, it’s certainly not limited to phone type.

  3. Grayson Mixon - 7 years ago

    As long as there is no fee for person-to-person, this is great.

    I only use cash transactions for person-to-person transactions and for haircuts.

    Imagine phasing out cash and credit cards completely.

  4. yojimbo007 - 7 years ago

    Yes yes and YES

  5. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    As long as it uses es your checking account and. It credit cards. Cash advance fees are a bitch.

    Shouldn’t Apple be focused in international rollouts instead a feature that most major US banks offer online or in their apps?

  6. Alun Roberts - 7 years ago

    Kenya has had this technology for the past few years how haven’t US / UK managed it yet?!

    • twelve01 - 7 years ago

      Maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t this essentially PayPal? Either way, glad Apple is appears to be taking steps toward this. I’ve been using PayPal for 10 plus years, and though it usually works fine, I’ve had to deal with one hacking, and another fraudulent transaction, for which both times PayPal was of absolute no help. I’m also annoyed how little the service has changed or improved, or at least until they’ve had more competition (last 1.5-2 yrs)

      • Andrew Messenger - 7 years ago

        Thats like saying “Isn’t FaceTime the same as Skype?” — it’s not. PayPal would require both parties to sign-in to retrieve their funds and then wait 3-5 business days to access the funds. This is comparable to Square Cash, which lets you send money amongst each other and access it in your checking account instantly. Still, the issue is that it requires both parties to sign up/sign in.

  7. Paul Andrew Dixon - 7 years ago

    Using digital money makes people less careful with their spending – the easier it is to spend and exchange money, the more money you end up spending – and of course apple will add a charge because they are a company offering a service and not a bank (plus most banks have a charge, especially when its between different banks)

    Apple also in the UK have a limit of £30 transfer – so this wont be as useful for things like paying rent etc

  8. Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 7 years ago

    chase quick pay just got added to clearXchange. This seems like an awesome step forward. I can imagine pressing the contacts button on the apple watch and paying a friend or even using siri: “send bob 10 bucks for pizza”… send | cancel… “ok done”

  9. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    Person to person transactions will be through the cloud and NFC between Nearby iPhones, Apple wants to replace your wallet.

  10. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Neat! This would destroy PayPal.


Avatar for Benjamin Mayo Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.