Apple’s on-again, off-again flirtation with building its own money-transfer service appears to be back on. The company has recently held discussions with payments industry partners about introducing its own Venmo competitor, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. The service would allow iPhone owners to send money digitally to other iPhone owners, these people said.
One source familiar with the plans told Recode they expect the company to announce the new service later this year. Another cautioned that an announcement and launch date may not yet be set.
Apple Inc has held talks with payments industry partners about launching a money-transfer service, technology news website Recode reported on Thursday.
The service will allow iPhone owners to transfer money digitally to other iPhone users, Recode reported, citing sources familiar with the talks.
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Apple will likely announce the new service later this year, one source told Recode, while another told the website an announcement and launch date may not yet be set.
If it happens this time, the new Apple product would be competing with offerings from big U.S. banks as well as PayPal, its millennial-popular subsidiary Venmo, as well as Square Cash in the increasingly competitive world of digital money-transfers. Chase’s QuickPay service processed $28 billion in transfers last year, while Venmo registered $17.6 billion in volume and is still doubling year over year.
These services have typically been money losers for the new entrants in the space, but are seen as the gateway to the next generation of payment and personal finance services that could upend traditional consumer banking relationships. They are used for everything from splitting dinner bills to paying rent
The service, if launched, would compete with digital money transfer services such as PayPal’s Venmo offering, Square Inc’s Square Cash, as well as services from big banks.
Apple was also in talks with payments network operator Visa Inc to create its own pre-paid cards to run on the Visa debit network, and tied to the new peer-to-peer service, the Recode report said.
Apple is looking for ways to boost usage of Apple Pay, its mobile payments service, and the debit card could be one way to do that, Recode reported.
Apple Pay usage has been lighter-than-expected since its launch two and a half years ago, the website reported, citing sources from big US banks.
Apple and Visa declined to comment on the report.