Apple Cash: Cupertino in talks to finally launch money-transfer service

“Apple’s on-again, off-again flirtation with building its own money-transfer service appears to be back on,” Jason Del Rey reports for Recode.

“The company has recently held discussions with payments industry partners about introducing its own Venmo competitor, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks,” Del Rey reports. “The service would allow iPhone owners to send money digitally to other iPhone owners, these people said.”

“Apple has also recently held discussions with Visa about creating its own pre-paid cards that would run on the Visa debit network and which would be tied to the new peer-to-peer service, sources told Recode,” Del Rey reports. “Apple is looking for new ways to boost usage of Apple Pay, and the debit card could be one way to do that. Several sources inside big U.S. banks told Recode that Apple Pay usage has been lighter than expected since it launched two and a half years ago.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Four points:

1. Restricting P2P payments to iOS users is a needless handicap that will severely curtail usage. It either works with pretty much everyone (like SMS, for example) or it doesn’t get used anywhere near its full potential.

2. This restriction implies that Messages will be the conduit for the payments and that Messages will remain iOS-only.

3. Not spreading Messages (and any P2P payment system) to Android smacks of fear. Is Messages really all that keeps people on iPhones? Scaredy-cat Apple seems to think so. Courage, Apple. Courage.

4. To boost usage of Apple Pay, as we’ve written many times (as recently as February): “There is no better way to pay than with Apple Watch and Apple Pay. Two simple things could turbocharge Apple Pay usage: Better (or actual) signage at the point of sale and incentives for using Apple Pay. Imagine Apple Pay usage if Apple simply offered $1 to spend at the Apple Store for every hundred spent via Apple Pay.”

As we wrote last August, imagine at the special media event to introduce the next-gen iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said something like this:

And, of course, the new iPhone works with Apple Pay and, starting today, for every $100 you spend using Apple Pay, you get $1 off at Apple retail and online stores. So, spend $100 on groceries using Apple Pay, you get $1. Spend $300 on a plane ticket using the Delta app, you get $3. Use Apple Pay in your ExxonMobil Speedpass+ app to buy your gas. It all adds up! By the end of the year, you’ll likely have quite a discount on your next iPad, Mac, or iPhone!

Would you use Apple Pay more if Tim Cook said something like that? We know we certainly would. So would tens of millions more people than are using Apple Pay today.

As we wrote nearly two years ago in August 2015:

Apple, give us a reason to use Apple Pay beyond looking like tech dorks in front of the line at the register. What’s the incentive to use Apple Pay? There is none besides looking like a flaming nerd. As if Apple doesn’t have any money. That, inexplicably, is how they approach Apple Pay. Hello, Tim? Eddy? Talk to some people who actually go to stores and shop for things, please.

Incentivize its use! Give Apple Pay users a percentage of every dollar spent via Apple Pay to spend at Apple Stores. Something. Anything! Get people used to using it first. Sheesh. It’s really not that difficult. It really isn’t.

Apple Pay promised to make plastic obsolete, but wary shoppers and confused clerks hinder adoption – April 5, 2017
Apple Pay at two years: Not much to celebrate – yet – October 20, 2016
What’s wrong with Apple Pay? – August 5, 2016
Apple Pay’s frequency of usage is putrid – August 3, 2016
Analyst: P2P payments via Apple’s iMessage platform good news for Square, bad for PayPal – June 14, 2016
Apple to deliver iMessage to Android at WWDC – June 9, 2016
Apple wants to let you make payments through Messages, Mail, Phone, and Calendar – December 31, 2015
Why Apple wants to get into the unprofitable world of payments between friends – December 1, 2015
Apple is making a grab for Venmo’s P2P payments turf and might use iMessage to do it – November 13, 2015
Apple discussing mobile person-to-person payment service with major U.S. banks – November 11, 2015


  1. Does this mean ApplePay is dead. He was so young and vigorous. It’s so sad. Will the wake be held in the Mothership? I hope there will be plenty of food and drink.

  2. “Incentivize its use” – yes, how about the merchant too? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a register where the clerk had no idea they took ApplePay or has never heard of it. They are shocked when it works. I am sure merchants would not only start asking their payment processor to support it, but would be encouraging it if they got a slice of the action.

  3. It’s really not about Apple Pay. It’s about NFC. It’s available at many places I purchase from and rapidly growing. And who is at the forefront of this growing trend? Right-Apple Pay. It’s happening/spreading quickly now.

  4. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

    When Apple gets hacked- not if, when – do you want everything going to ground?

    I maintain a number of accounts and one good reason is protection against security issues at any one outfit.

    When I put a VPN on my Mac, iPad and iPhone USAA saw logins from different geographic locations and locked my account up. Good thing I was not on vacation and only had one account, huh?

    1. I also highly recommend a storage unit with a large cache of weapons and money, passports, credit cards, bottled water, MREs, ammunition, charging burner phones, multiple sets of clothing appropriate for different situations, a bed, a space heater, a small air conditioner, a refrigerator with cold water, beer and champagne, a MacBook, an iPad, a couple of well made watches from MTM, dog food (in case I can’t stash him), and a couple of good well made backpacks.

      1. LOL
        You think it is funny, but as dependent upon the Internet and online services as we are today, a short interruption is a BFD.

        A couple of years back a tornado hit very very near my house. We had nothing but some tree damage, but the Tornado took out the local substation and a lot of above ground lines- my power is below ground, but eventually it goes up on overhead wires.

        Anyway, we had no power or working internet for 4+ Days. I did have both AT&T and Verizon LTE Hotspots but they only gave 5 GB a month each.

        When you invest, bank, pay bills, order all manner of supplies- including groceries these days, make reservations, remote login to work, go to School (I am currently getting a Certificate via online for work), pre-shop before physical shopping and all the rest, loss of Internet is a big deal.

        As to Banking and payments, I pay every bill save one online. There are no physical offices to accept payment for most utilities anymore. Lose your ability to pay electronically and things can get stupid real quick.

        Apple, Google and Facebook apparently want to be all things to all people and I see that as dangerous. Putting one Identity (Apple ID or whatever) in charge of all financial transactions is kind of stupid.

        As to your comment about supplies, I live in a seismic area and an area prone to Ice Storms and Tornadic Weather. It is not a bad thing to have enough water and other things to be able to hold the fort after a storm.

        The town where I work had a Tornado a number of years back and about half the town had no electricity, potable water, landline Phone, Cell Phone, Internet, Cable or Gas service- some for a couple of weeks. The grocery stores were all on the side of town hit as were almost all the restaurants. I do not live there, but thousands of people had to live in homes with no ability to do almost anything for a very long time. Our Hospital had backup generators and was on a separate water system, so we were essentially unaffected as long as the Generator held out.

        I am no prepper, but it never hurts to be prepared.

  5. Apple could have purchased PayPal years ago and fixed it, making interpersonal cashless monetary transfers safe and affordable for all.
    Too little too late.

    Instead Cook paid billions for a headphone company and ruined iTunes with a music rental service. And soon you can look forward to bad video productions from Apple to go with its one radio station.

    Once Apple wanted to change the world by empowering people. Now Apple just wants to copy what other companies do, preferably with a forced subcription payment plan. Siri, pay Tim this complement: “we will all be happy to see your resignation soon. Take worthless Cue, Ive, and Ahrendts with you when you go.”

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