Apple first debuted their peer-to-peer payment system, Apple Pay Cash, in June. While the company was vague on the specifics of the new payment platform, code found within the latest iOS 11 developer beta could shed some more light on how exactly the system works — including the setup process, and some of its restrictions and limitations.
As a refresher, Apple Pay Cash is the company’s upcoming peer-to-peer payment system that will allow iOS users to send (as well as receive) payments to family and friends. It’ll feature deep integration with iMessage and Siri, and the digital assistant will be able to recognize when an iMessage conversation is talking about sending or receiving money.
Chief among the new information is the fact that a user will need to verify their identity with Apple before using Apple Pay Cash, according to tidbits of code dug up by Brazilian site iHelpBR. This can be done via an iOS device’s camera, by placing a driver’s license or other photo identification document within the camera’s frame. Additionally, another line of code seems to suggest that there will be an age requirement to use Apple Pay Cash.
There’s also a line of code that suggests peer-to-peer will not be available to users who have not verified their identity, or users whose identity verification process has failed for whatever reason. While peer-to-peer payments will be disabled, a user’s Apple Pay Cash balance can still be used within apps or at physical and online retail outlets.
After the verification process, users will have to add a connected bank account, debit card, or credit card from which sent funds will be drawn. The system will apparently warn users that a debit card “works best,” perhaps because credit cards typically carry an associated fee for peer-to-peer transactions (which you can see on most competitors, such as Venmo).
Once a debit or credit card is added, a user can send funds to their family and friends from within iMessage. Although it’s worth noting that any funds received will be put into a separate “Apple Pay Cash” card within the Wallet app, not directly into a user’s bank account. The balance on this Cash card can then be used for normal Apple Pay transactions, peer-to-peer payments, or later withdrawn into a connected bank account.
The virtual card will also utilize a four-digit PIN for extra authentication such as when Touch or Face ID fails. Additionally, there seems to be a cap on the amount of money a card can hold — as there’s a line of code stating that an “Apple Pay Cash balance cannot exceed” an unspecified number.
iHelpBR also found some more expected findings within the iOS 11 beta. For one, if a user declines a payment or if a payment “expires,” that money will be put back into the account it was sent form. Payments seem to expire if they sit for a long period of time without being accepted. And, of course, an Apple Pay Cash card will be synced via iCloud across a user’s devices.
The leaked information doesn’t clarify everything about Apple Pay Cash, but it does clear up certain aspects of the platform. While a release date isn’t set, it’s likely to debut with or shortly after iOS 11 in the fall.