Apple’s rumored Apple Pay person-to-person payments service could make use of the company’s iMessage service too, says a Thursday report from Quartz.
One way Apple might add money transfer services to iOS is through iMessage, the proprietary messaging service, according to people who have discussed the program with Apple. It’s already one of the most used default apps on iPhones and is especially popular with the younger crowd—a survey by messaging service Jott found that 60% of teens say that it’s their preferred messaging app, according to TechCrunch.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Apple has been in talks with various U.S. banks, including Chase, US Bancorp, Wells Fargo, and Citi about a person-to-person payments service, making use of Apple Pay, that would operate much like PayPal’s Venmo, or Square.
Currently, the parties are said to be working out technical issues, and Wednesday’s report indicates Apple might not be looking to make money off the new service, merely offering it in order to lure more users into the iPhone/Apple Pay fold. Apple is said to be offering the service free to banks. Apple currently charges a small transaction fee to banks for each Apple Pay transaction.
A Quartz source told the publication that one reason for Apple reaching out to the banks to partner with them on the service is that the Cupertino firm is looking to avoid filing for the necessary money transfer licenses. The banks already have these, and by using those, Apple can then concentrate on the technical side of things, rather than the regulatory hassles.
The service could be similar to the service offered in Asia by Alibaba’s AliPay and messaging app WeChat, who dominate that marketplace when it comes to in-store payments, mobile payments, and money transfers.