A couple days back, a report landed about Apple’s work towards a new payment system, and unlike the retail-based Apple Pay we have now, this one would allow for the direct transfer of money between individual users. We heard a few theories regarding why Apple might be interested in developing this kind of thing, and what sort of conversations it might be having with bank partners, but little about the implementation: just how would this new P2P payment deal actually work? While you may have assumed we’d see Apple bake it in to the existing Apple Pay, a new source suggests it could instead find a home in a slightly different app.
Reportedly, one way Apple’s been thinking about implementing this system would be to add it to iMessage. There’s certainly enough precedent for the idea – when Facebook launched its own P2P money transfer system earlier this year, it didn’t arrive as part of the core Facebook app, but as a component of Messenger – and it may be easier to get users sending money through the system when that means using a familiar, frequently accessed app, rather than pushing them to a new one.
From the sound of things, though, this is far from a done deal, and this iMessage integration could be just one idea Apple’s considering as it works out other details of the service with bank partners.
There’s no further word on an ETA for Apple’s P2P payment ambitions, and right now our best estimate is the sometime-in-2016 launch we heard about earlier.