Apple announced Monday (June 5) during its World Developers Conference being held this week that its new iOS 11 will support the ability for users to send money to friends and family through its iMessage.
During a presentation the Cupertino, Calif., technology company said the P2P payments feature will be built into iMessage as an app that lets users send and request money from contacts with one tap. It will also automatically alert users when a contact tells them via in iMessage that they owe the contact money and prompt users to send the payments. Users of iMessage can now send peer-to-peer payments via third-party apps, including Venmo and Square, but this marks the first time Apple is doing it on its own. The fact that the peer-to-peer payments will be integrated into its Apple Pay Service probably means its own app will overtake third-party ones.
Once a peer-to-peer payment is sent, the cash balance will be stored on the Apple Pay virtual card in the Wallet App. Users can then transfer it to their bank account or get a virtual card to use anywhere Apple Pay is accepted both online and in the physical world, the company said in the presentation. That means users have instant access to the cash instead of waiting for it to clear in a traditional bank account. The new iOS 11 with P2P payments is slated to launch in the fall, Apple said. The move on the part of Apple to make it even easier to send and receive payments from friends comes at a time when Apple Pay has been slow to take off, at least in the U.S. By adding peer-to-peer payments to its digital payment offering, Apple is hoping it can increase usage and adoption rates for the digital payment method.