Apple may be planning on giving PayPal and Square a run for their money. The iPhone and iPad maker is reportedly working on deals with banks so Apple Pay users can make person-to-person payments.
You may be able to pay your friends from your iPhone soon
Personal payment systems, like those offered by Square and PayPal, make it easy for friends to give each other money without needing cash or checks. It's handy when you're at a restaurant, for example, that doesn't split checks so a single person has to pay. Everyone else can send their share of the bill to whoever is paying the check directly from their smartphones.
Currently Apple is in talks with J.P. Morgan Chase, Capital One Financial Corp., Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and a few other banks, according to sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal.
For Apple, this is a natural extension of Apple Pay. It's already available on the iPhone 6 and newer, Apple Watch, and the iPad Pro, which makes it an easy solution for personal payments.
For Square, PayPal, and other electronic payment platforms, this could be a shot across the bow. While popular, their services require users to download apps to their smartphones, where Apple Pay is simply a part of iOS 9. That means there aren't any extra apps to download, and the path of least resistance is often the winner.
PayPal is taking the news in stride. A company spokesperson said, "We welcome any development that encourages people to address the awkwardness of dealing with cash when paying friends or family back."
There isn't any official word on when Apple may start offering person-to-person payments through Apple Pay. Regardless of when it happens, the move seems like the natural next step for the company. It already has a foothold in the mobile payment market, and extending that beyond retailers turns Apple Pay into an all encompassing payment system.