Apple may be working a person-to-person payments feature

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According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple is in talks with major banks to add a person-to-person payments feature to Apple Pay, which would be bad news for PayPal and Venmo. The report doesn’t mention how far the discussions have progressed, but it does mention that JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are among the banks involved, and that the feature is expected to launch sometime next year. If the report is true, Apple’s entrance into the person-to-person mobile payments market would be a significant boost for the market. 

Apple is in talks with major banks on an extension of its Apple Pay service that would allow person-to-person payments. The discussions are continuing and it’s unclear whether any banks have struck a deal with Apple, reported The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, citing “people familiar with the talks.” The newspaper said the envisaged service would allow users to send payments from their checking accounts to others using their phone and isn’t imminent. It said one person had told it the service could launch in 2016. A number of banks are involved in the talks, including JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo and US Bancorp, it said. The service, if it does launch, would immediately inject hype into the nascent person-to-person mobile payments market. Several competing services currently offer such payments, but their penetration is still low among smartphone users. Among these is Venmo, from PayPal, and services from Google and Facebook. The mobile payments market got a huge visibility boost last year when Apple launched Apple Pay. It debuted about three years after Google launched Google Wallet, but proved to be the catalyst that kick-started serious development and competition in the market.

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