A month after the rumor mill began swirling with predictions that Apple would soon unveil a peer-to-peer payment system rivaling Venmo and Square Cash, the tech giant did just that: Pay Cash will allow users to send payments to friends and family directly through the Apple Pay app.
Apple announced the new system as part of its iOS 11 update — expected to launch this fall — during its annual developers’ conference today.
With the system users will be able to make and receive payments from friends and family directly through messages or their Apple Pay account, using a credit and debit card already stored in their virtual wallet.
Once a transaction is complete, the funds will appear in a user’s Apple Pay Cash account. From there, they can use the money to send to someone, make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps, and on the web, as well as transferring funds from Apple Pay Cash to their own bank account.
Apple’s new payment system isn’t exactly a surprise. In addition to “sources close to the matter” hinting several times that the system was in the works, Apple applied for a patent for a peer-to-peer payment network.
The Dec. 2015 patent application would allow iMessage users to pay each other from within the messaging app itself, as well as from within other iOS features.
While Pay Cash has been long anticipated, its success will depend on how many users switch from other services like PayPal’s Venmo, Square Cash, and many major banks, not to mention Facebook.