Send money via iMessage: Apple launches its P2P cash beta

8 Nov 2017

The new Apple iPhone X. Image: hurricanehank/Shutterstock

Person-to-person cash transfers via iMessage using Apple Pay kicking off in the US first.

Apple has every intention of being at the helm of the fintech revolution and has just soft launched the beta for Apple Pay Cash, which enables users to send cash to each other via iMessage.

The programme is launching on iOS 11.2 beta 2. Users can opt in by joining the Apple Beta Software Program.

With the new service, users can pay each other within iMessage or by telling Siri to transfer cash to another user.

The money can then be used within apps, in stores where Apple Pay is accepted on the web.

Cash is king in the P2P economy

Peer-to-peer cash transfer is one of the fastest evolving areas in the fintech space.

Irish-based company Circle already lets users transfer cash in Europe using either the Circle app or a plugin for iMessage. It recently launched a new group payments feature and free transfers to US accounts.

Another Irish-based company called Plynk allows people to send money via message to a single contact or in-group chats, instantly and with no fees.

Using the new Apple Pay Cash platform, when users opt in and accept the cash, they are issued a new virtual Apple Pay Cash card that will sit in their Wallet on the iPhone. The card can only be used to send money or pay for goods or services via Apple Pay.

Because it sits within Apple Pay, Apple can fund payments immediately to the card so the money can be spent right away.

It could be a handy way for parents to send their kids at college cash to buy iBooks or food, or a neat way to pay rent or support your local sports club.

To use the platform, you need an iPhone that runs iOS 11.2 and two-factor authentication for your Apple ID as well as an eligible credit or debit card in Wallet.

The new Apple iPhone X. Image: hurricanehank/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years