Digging into Apple Pay Cash, iMessage’s new P2P payments system

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All the digital payment players have at least one peer-to-peer payment program in their portfolios and soon, Apple will join the rest of them with Apple Pay Cash. We saw a quick flash of the feature that will soon arrive in iOS 11, but iHelp BR found pertinent pieces of code from the HomePod firmware developer trove that may help explain things better.

Unfortunately, setting up and using Apple Pay Cash will not be similar to Apple Pay as users will have to photo-scan or manually insert data from cards in specifically for this service, including photo ID as the system requires maintaining a digital cash balance — Apple has to act like a bank in this capacity and would thus necessitate such security measures. For faster transaction processing and to avoid fees, Apple Pay Cash would suggest a debit card to be linked up.

From that point, a virtual debit card will be set up and users will get a four-digit PIN. If you have multiple Apple Pay-capable devices, this new Apple Pay Cash “card” will be synced with them through iCloud and your Apple ID.

It’s not clear exactly in what ways a peer-to-peer transaction would take place and if the virtual card could be used for commercial transactions — some barriers that PayPal-owned Venmo has yet to break. There’s also a maximum balance limit, though we don’t know what that is. One depiction of a transaction indicates a Facebook Messenger-style interface in iMessage where someone types a cash amount and a prompt will appear for users to pay it.

More details will have to be ironed out and we suppose that will be done by the release of iOS 11.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.