Apple person-to-person payments said next in wallet war

Apple Pay has already waged war on your credit cards; now it's said to be targeting person-to-person payments. A new service, similar in concept to PayPal's Venmo system which allows individuals to send money digitally to friends and family, is said to be the topic of discussions between the Cupertino firm and its banking partners.

There's plenty still to be discussed, so sources tell the WSJ, and right now there's no confirmation whether any deals have actually been settled.

Meanwhile, Apple is yet to finalize exactly how it would handle the technological side of such a service. According to the insiders, the upgraded Apple Pay would tap into checking accounts and allow direct transfers from one individual to another.

That might be done using the existing clearXchange system, which currently relies on an email address or phone number for identification.

Potential partners at the negotiating table are said to include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Capital One Financial Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and U.S. Bancorp. Unlike Apple Pay in its current incarnation, where Apple charges each bank a transaction fee for payments iPhone and Apple Watch owners make with their devices, this new individual payments service wouldn't involve any fees for the financial institutions.

Should talks prove productive, such a service could launch in 2016, it's suggested.

Mobile payments are increasingly prevalent, with Apple Pay not the only service on offer. Google has Android Pay for its Android OS, while Samsung offers Samsung Pay which has the added advantage of being able to emulate an older, magnetic stripe card for use in stores that lack the latest NFC-enabled terminals.

Person-to-person payments, however, have found favor among those looking to split a restaurant check or pay roommates for a share of the monthly bills.