Soon, you may be able to make payments to friends on an iPhone or Apple Watch via Apple Pay.
First announced in June, Apple is launching direct, person-to-person payments via the Messages app with the Apple Pay Cash beta, TechCrunch reports. Payments can also be triggered by simply asking for money in a message or tapping on a message sent by someone else asking for money.
For now, the service is available for US customers only with iOS devices on 11.2 or later.
Once users updated the public beta of iOS 11.2, they will see an Apple Pay button in the apps section of Messages that allows you to initiate a payment.
The first time users receive money, they can tap on the payment bubble to accept terms and be issued a new virtual Apple Pay Cash card, which can only be used to send money or pay for things via Apple Pay.
Received cash cards can be used immediately, or transferred into a bank account with a standard-issue waiting period for the transaction to complete.
If users ask for money in a text in Messages, say “you owe me US$10 for movie tickets”, the other party can tap on the underlined dollar amount and send it. Users can also send money directly from the Contacts app in iOS by tapping a contact and then the dollar icon below their name.
Moreover, by saying things like “ask Sally to pay me US$10 for breakfast” to Siri, it will send that message via Messages and they can tap and pay.
As TechCrunch notes, users will need to use two-factor authentication with the Apple ID used with Apple Pay Cash.
The source of funding is any debit or credit card already set up in Apple Pay. Apple will charge no fees for money that is funded via debit cards and a standard 3 percent fee for credit cards, according to the company.
With its contactless payment feature, Apple Pay launched in October 2014, Apple is relatively late to the person-to-person payment game, with competitors like Venmo, Square, and Paypal already having released solutions.
As TechCrunch reports, Apple is working with the financial technology company Green Dot to power the financial mechanics of Apple Cash.
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