The introduction of Apple Pay and Wallet appear to be just the beginning of the globally dominant company’s plans to enter the mobile payment business. Sources close to Apple have revealed its intentions to roll out a new peer-to-peer payment option via Apple Pay by as early as next year.
Though still very much on the drawing board, the new peer-to-peer payment service would offer Apple users an option for quickly transferring money via their smartphones to friends’ bank accounts. Peer-to-peer payment options have become a popular choice for young people who tend to avoid carrying around cash. Rather than pull currency out of an ATM or write a check, peer-to-peer payments enable users to repay friends, settle restaurant tabs and make other person-to-person transactions with a few taps of their smartphones.
Apple’s eventual entry into the market extends its reach into the financial world, potentially enabling it to take on competitors such as PayPal’s Venmo. The addition of a peer-to-peer option would also dovetail nicely with the relatively new Apple Pay service that lets Apple users pay for store purchases using their phones or watches. It also fits with the new Wallet feature that automatically combines payments with loyalty cards and tickets for such things as air travel.
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Full details related to the proposal are not being released by Apple, which has declined comment. Sources close to the company, however, told the Wall Street Journal the rollout could occur sometime next year. Apple is reportedly in talks such banks as Wells Fargo, Capital One and JPMorgan Chase to partner on the project.
Apple’s move into the peer-to-peer payment market could bring the technology more into the mainstream. The company reportedly sold more than 230 million phones in 2015 alone, which means the potential for a sizeable, ready-made market is there.
Whether Apple ultimately succeeds in taking a big bite out of the peer-to-peer market remains to be seen. As company officials are hush-hush on the topic, speculation is growing that such a new feature, along with Apple Pay and Wallet, will combine to fit the smartphone maker’s overall plan to encourage people to purchase new iPhones every few years.