I’ve been a huge fan of the peer to peer cash exchange App Venmo since the company launched a few years back. Back before it was a part of Paypal. It’s always been so easy to use, and a great way to get money to people fast.
What was crazy, was that most people all had iPhones when doing it. And there’s been chatter for awhile now that Apple would create it’s on version. That became a reality today when Apple announced that it is launching a money-transfer service that could challenge Venmo and other competitors, letting iPhone and iPad users send money digitally to each other via a text.
The new feature will appear automatically inside Apple Messages, the company’s messaging product, when Apple launches the new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 11, this fall.
Apple also announced its own digital debit card — called Apple Pay Cash — that lets people take the money they receive via the new money-transfer service and use it to make Apple Pay purchases online or in physical stores that accept tap-and-pay transactions.
The new Apple money-transfer service will go up against competing offerings from PayPal, PayPal-owned Venmo, Square Cash and popular bank services like Chase QuickPay. But unlike many competitors, Apple’s cash-sending feature is limited to users of iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
So does Apple want to be a bank? Not now, but maybe someday.
For now, the new Apple Pay Cash card could have a more direct impact on a current Apple business: Apple Pay. Industry insiders believe the virtual debit card will be a way to introduce Apple Pay to new users, perhaps to a younger consumers that don’t already have their own traditional credit or debit cards.
That, in turn, could boost usage of the Apple Pay service, which has been underwhelming in the nearly three years since it launched, bank sources previously told Recode.
To send money using Apple’s money-transfer service when it launches in the fall, people will have to add a debit or credit card as a funding source to Apple’s Wallet app. Money-transfer services backed by a debit card will be free for users, while those backed by a credit card will be hit with a 3 percent fee — the same as competitors.
Apple is partnering with prepaid payment card company Green Dot on the Apple Pay Cash card.