Apple is always rumored to be thinking about dipping its toe into different industries, but this newest one might make some degree of sense given the services Apple already offers. As an extension of Apple Pay, Apple is reportedly looking to break into the peer-to-peer payment systems. This would put Apple in a position to compete with existing services like Venmo or Square Cash.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Apple is considering such a system. A couple of years back, similar rumors began to surface, but ultimately nothing ever materialized. Sources close to the project now tell Recode that Apple has taken those plans off the back burner, perhaps gearing up to announce the new service as soon as later this year.
As Recode points out, though, these peer-to-peer payment systems are usually money pits for companies looking to break into the space. Beyond that, Apple would be throwing its hat into the ring with a number of established companies. Why would Apple want to do that?
There are a number of reasons, but one could be the potential for Apple Pay growth when it’s paired with a peer-to-peer money service. Apple, of course, would like all iPhone (and now MacBook) users to opt for Apple Pay over pulling out their wallets, and by adding peer-to-peer functionality, it could see increased growth in overall Apple Pay usage.
Such growth could be facilitated if another aspect of this report turns out to be true. Apple is said to be in talks with Visa to offer its own pre-paid cards, which would presumably be used within Apple Pay as a solution for folks who don’t have a bank account. It could also be used as a shortcut to money that has been sent though Apple’s peer-to-peer service, allowing users to spend that money right away instead of transferring it to another bank account.
As with all rumors, take this with a grain of salt. With a crowded space, Apple will certainly be hesitant to try developing a service of its own, even if it does see a bright future. If any company has the cash to throw at a service until it succeeds, though, it’s Apple. Perhaps we’ll find out more later this year when Apple reveals its next iPhone? We shall just have to wait and see.