Apple is reportedly planning to introduce a peer-to-peer payment service that would allow people to send each other money easily via their iPhones and iPads.
Apple was granted a patent earlier this year for an encrypted person-to-person payment system, and according to a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is in negotiations with people at JP Morgan & Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and US Bancorp to implement the technology.
The service “would allow consumers to send payments from their checking accounts to recipients through their Apple devices,” the report states. Similar to services like Venmo, which was acquired by PayPal in 2013, or Square Cash by San Francisco-based Square, users would be able to quickly and easily send money to one another, without dealing with checks or transfers. Peer-to-peer payment services are slowly becoming more popular, often used for small transactions such as paying babysitters, settling restaurant bills, or the like.
Earlier this year, Facebook implemented such a service in their Messenger app, and Google has been exploring peer-to-peer payment services within Gmail for quite some time.
The service, which could debut next year, would likely be tied in with Apple’s current mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Released in October of last year, Apple Pay allows its users to make payments at a wide variety of popular banks and retailers via an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. The system has slowly been gaining traction since its introduction – according to a report by Phoenix Marketing International, 14% of US households have at least one credit card linked to Apple Pay as of October.
It’s currently unclear exactly when such a system would be implemented, but the Wall Street Journal’s unnamed sources say “such a service could get off the ground next year.”