How do you use your smartphone to access money? There’s a solid chance your bank has an app of its own, letting you view you balance and maybe even deposit checks with your phone’s camera. A growing number of users are even making in-store payments directly from their handsets, thanks to services like Android Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay (the Pay trifecta). But what do you do if you’re not dealing with a bank and not dealing with a store, and just want to give your friend a few bucks? Apps like Venmo and Google Wallet are happy to lend a hand, and now a new report claims that Apple could be interested in joining that party, as well, as the company talks with banks about the idea of launching its own person-to-person payment system.

Right now it sounds like Apple and its possible bank partners are still very much feeling this idea out, and no agreements have necessarily been made. But what we’re hearing is that Apple would like to deliver this kind of person-to-person payment system, whether as an extension of Apple Pay or under some new name, as soon as sometime next year.

Unlike Apple Pay, there may not be any direct financial incentive for Apple to provide this service – instead of the current state of Apple Pay where Apple collects a fee for each transaction, this P2P system could be entirely free to use. So rather than profiting from the money transfers themselves, Apple might benefit in a different way by using the feature as yet another selling point for its devices.

It’s details like that we still need to learn before the full picture of Apple’s P2P payment ambitions becomes clear. Based on this suggested timeline, though, with its 2016 launch, we may be hearing a lot more soon.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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