Apple Joins the Market for Person to Person Payments

6. December 2017.

Apple’s P2P service, Apple Pay Cash, is now up and running. Business Insider provides a step-by-step accounting of how to set up and transact with the new service and some background on the launch:

On Monday, the company launched Apple Pay Cash. The feature allows users in the United States with an up-to-date iPhone to send money to other iPhone users through the company’s Messages app.

A direct competitor to other digital cash apps like Venmo and Square Cash, Apple Pay Cash was first announced in June, at Apple’s annual developer’s conference. It was originally supposed to launch with iOS 11, the latest version of the operating system underlying the iPhone, which Apple released in September. But the company delayed its launch until the release of iOS 11.2, which the company made available over the weekend.

Unlike its competitors, Apple Pay Cash doesn’t work on Android devices. However, you can send payments using the service via an iPhone, iPad, or an Apple Watch.

Business Insider characterizes Apple Pay Cash as a “Venmo Killer”, which remains to be seen. Although Apple Pay Cash users may find the Apple P2P service very convenient to use through iMessages, Venmo has a significant earlier-to-market lead, has already captured millions of users and will deliver transactions regardless of the sender’s or the recipient’s device operating system.

Apple, like Venmo and Zelle, offer the opportunity to spend funds received through the P2P service to make purchases. Apple accomplishes this through the use of virtual prepaid accounts managed through Green Dot’s GoBank. This account will store funds that can be used to fund Apple Pay transactions. Alternatively, P2P balances can be directed back to the user’s bank account.

More details on Apple Pay Cash from Apple can be found here.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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