Apple may soon let you send friends money with iPhone

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Apple Pay iPhone
Yet another reason to use Apple Pay.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

If you owe your buddy $5, turning your pockets inside out may soon be an ineffective charade – thanks to Apple.

Cupertino is in talks with major U.S. banks on a digital payment system that would let people send money to each other from their iPhones. It reportedly will work like services offered by PayPal and Venmo.

Apple will not comment on the talks according to several news outlets. PayPal had a somewhat friendly response to news of Apple’s proposed payment solution, saying in a written statement published on Re/code that the company “welcomes any development that encourages people to address the awkwardness of dealing with cash when paying friend for family back. We have multiple services to make that easy . . . Our services work across multiple devices and operating systems, as well as online.”

The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story Wednesday, reported the service would give iPhone users the ability to send payments from their checking accounts to friends and family. The newspaper, which quoted “people familiar with the talks,” was not clear if some U.S. banks are already onboard but one person told the WSJ the service could launch sometime next year.

Banks would be charged for participating in the service, according to reports.

Venmo already provides a similar service using PayPal. Chase Bank offers customer-to-customer mobile transactions More and more, businesses and stores are accepting Apple Pay and now Android Pay.

Overall, only a small percentage of people use their smartphones to make payments, according to Computerworld website.