Apple’s peer-to-peer payment program could use iMessage for money transfers

iMessage

Apple is in talks with banks with a view to developing a new peer-to-peer payment service to take on the likes of Venmo and PayPal, according to a new report — and now sources say the Cupertino company could use iMessage to facilitate money transfers.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is already talking to JPMorgan Chase, US Bancorp, Wells Fargo, and Citi, and it is thought to be tackling the technical issues involved with person-to-person payments. It has been suggested that Apple will offer the service at a loss, without charging fees.

Now a new report from Quartz, citing sources “who have discussed the program with Apple,” says the new payments system could use iMessage for money transfers between iOS users. iMessage is already incredibly popular — especially with younger users — and other payment services are already tied to messaging, such as Alibaba’s AliPay and WeChat in Asia, and Facebook Messenger in the U.S.

It’s thought Apple is interested in person-to-person payments because they are popular among millennials, and could encourage more users to sign up to Apple Pay. By partnering with banks, the company can sidestep the licensing and regulator scrutiny that PayPal, Venmo, and others face.

There’s no word on when we might see Apple’s new payments service, but it seems it’s still in the early stages of development, so don’t expect to hear anything soon.