Apple Could Be Cooking Up a New Way to Send Money

November 12, 2015, 1:27 PM UTC
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CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 13: Ozzie Smith uses Apple Pay at the Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park on July 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images for MasterCard)
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Apple is reportedly working on a product that would let people send money to each other using their iPhones.

The company is currently in the midst of talks with U.S. banks, including Wells Fargo (WFC), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), and Capital One (COF), to develop such a service, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter. It’s not clear whether any deals have been made yet, and some key details are still undecided.

Apple’s (AAPL) service would allow people to send payments from their checking accounts to others using their iPhones, which is similar to services like PayPal’s (PYPL) Venmo and Square Cash, as well as products from Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB). The peer-to-peer service would most likely be part of Apple Pay, the company’s service that lets customers make payments with their iPhones instead of pulling out a credit card or cash.

Apple could also link into an existing peer-to-peer payment service called clearXchange, according to the Journal, which is already offered by many U.S. banks and lets customers send each other money from their checking accounts with an email or cellphone number.

One of the Journal‘s sources said the service could come out next year. Apple likely wouldn’t charge banks for participating, as the service would mostly help it convince more consumers to convert to its newer iPhones that support Apple Pay. The company does charge banks for each Apple Pay transaction for purchases, however.

Though still only used by a minority of consumers, digital and mobile payments are getting growing interest from technology companies. Following Apple Pay’s unveiling a year ago, Google’s Android and Samsung have announced their own versions of mobile payments. Companies like Facebook and even ephemeral messaging app Snapchat have introduced peer-to-peer payments as part of their mobile apps.

A representative from Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

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