28 April, 2017
This rumor has been going on for years, but 2017 might be the year of peer-to-peer Apple Pay.
The service, if launched, would compete with digital money transfer services such as PayPal's (PYPL.O) Venmo offering, Square Inc's (SQ.N) Square Cash, as well as services from big banks. Apple hopes that a person-to-person payment service would boost the use of Apple Pay, which has not gained as much popularity as Apple had initially anticipated. Users would be able to send "Apple Cash" to one another and use the Visa card and Apple Pay to spend the money online or at retail stores without waiting for it to be cleared by a bank.
PayPal, which owns Venmo, offers the service for no fee for users that attach debit cards or bank accounts. Recode also mentions that there may be some pushback from banks who've "spent heavily in insuring their cards were top of wallet when they all built and rolled out Apple Pay", and aren't fond of the idea of Apple now promoting its own card.
Will this get folks onboard with mobile payments? Cupertino was granted a patent back in 2015, for instance, which could pave the way for an iMessage-based peer-to-peer payment platform, similar to how Venmo and SquareCash for iMessage function.
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ReCode is out with a report that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is expected to push further into the Fintech space by providing a Venmo-like peer to peer money transfer service.
Long-time Apple analyst Gene Munster recently told the Wall Street Journal that he estimates Apple saw $36 billion in 2016 Apple Pay transactions, well below his original prediction of $207 billion. It could be a way to promote Apple Pay and make people add cards to their iPhone instead.
Furthermore, this would provide Apple with the opportunity to tie its new service with Apple Pay, which reportedly is producing unsatisfactory results for the past two and a half years.
Venmo is doing so well that it seems Apple wants in on the fun.