Need to send money to a friend to pay for that small debt? Just send him an iMessage and it’s done! That could very well be the scenario of the future if the rumors about Apple‘s venture for Apple Pay are indeed true. It has already been said that the company is looking into a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system ala PayPal and Venmo but now it seems it might veer only so slightly away from Apple Pay app itself. Instead, Cupertino might opt to use iMessage as the vehicle for sending money directly to others.
If that sounds almost familiar, you may have heard of Facebook’s similar attempt to offer P2P payments via its Messenger service, something that has yet to see the light of day. Even then it isn’t the first in that space either. In China, popular messaging service WeChat offers the same kind of convenience to its users.
What will be a first for Apple is how it is somewhat removing itself from the equation. Apple is said to be in talks with major US banks to handle they payment side of things rather than having a more direct hand in it like it does with Apple Pay. While unusual for Apple, it would mean they wouldn’t have to apply for a license to be a money transmitter, with all the red tape and scrutiny it entails.
It also means, however, that Apple might not be out to make a profit from this P2P system. Like Facebook’s own plans, they might operate it at a loss instead. So why bother with such a losing business? One possible reason is to actually help boost adoption of Apple Pay itself. Although more than a year old, the mobile payment system has seen positive yet moderate growth. Introducing Apple Pay to users via the convenience of P2P payment and iMessage could eventually mean an easier transition over to the main payment business in the future.