You can use Apple Pay to pay online or at stores, but it’ll soon get peer-to-peer payments, too. That means payments to friends or anyone else you have on your contacts list.
The feature was announced in June at Apple’s developer conference, where it was marketed as one of the big upgrades in iOS 11. That update to iPhones and iPads is likely to hit on September 12th.
While lots of other mobile payment apps exist to transfer money to friends — PayPal and Venmo to name the few– Apple Pay’s secure integration with the rest of the company’s software ecosystem could make it the most comfortable solution for Apple users. It doesn’t require additional accounts to be set up. Both sides of the transaction need to be on iMessage so no Android users will take advantage from it.
Here’s everything we know about peer-to-peer payments so far.
Much like Apple Pay was when it first launched, peer-to-peer payments will be a US feature at first.
You do need to make sure the other person has an active iMessage account, though.
The virtual card lives in Wallet on iOS 11 and can be used like a gift card to make payments. The advantage is that it’s essentially a virtual instant bank account for cash, and payments are received instantaneously. This is how other payment systems like Venmo and PayPal work, too.
Surprise! If you get a payment you don’t need to do anything to set it up. Once the money is transferred, an Apple Pay Cash Card gets automatically generated on your phone.
The money can be used at any Apple Pay-enabled location. Or, it can be used in-app.
As long as the other person’s using iMessage, payment can be made.
Apple won’t let you put money directly in your bank account. It always goes to that Cash Card first, similar to how Square, PayPal, Venmo, and other payment services work.
In case the phone gets lost or stolen, Apple says the card will keep its money in an encrypted account off the phone itself. The money can be used across devices, meaning you should be able to get the cash on an iPhone and use it on your iPad, too… or even an Apple Watch.