Apple is in talks with U.S. banks over a potential person-to-person mobile payments service, reports The Wall Street Journal. Such a service would perhaps be positioned as an expansion to Apple Pay, and it would allow people to send each other payments, much like PayPal’s Venmo or Square’s Square Cash service.
Little is known about the talks at this early date, but The Wall Street Journal says communication between Apple and the banks is ongoing and it’s not known if Apple has inked any concrete deals. Apple is said to be speaking to Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank, but key details “remain in flux” and the technical details still need to be worked out.
It isn’t clear how Apple intends to make money from the service. Indeed, the company may view a person-to-person offering mostly as a way to get more consumers to convert to its phones.
Under the current discussions, Apple wouldn’t charge the banks for participating in its person-to-person payment service, said the person familiar with the talks. That is different from Apple Pay in which the banks pay Apple for each transaction
Person-to-person services like Venmo and Square Cash are used for personal payments and are useful for things like paying back a friend who bought dinner or splitting a rent payment. With Apple’s system, iPhone and iPad owners could perhaps use Apple Pay to send secure payments to one another from a checking account.
A launch date for the service is unclear as of yet, but Apple may be targeting a 2016 debut.