Patent application reveals that Apple might offer peer-to-peer payments on iMessage, calls and more

Patent application reveals that Apple might offer peer-to-peer payments on iMessage, calls and more
According to a patent application released by the USPTO, Apple is working on giving its iMessage app the ability to make peer-to-peer payments. Transactions could also be made using voice calls, texts, chats, emails and more. The patent application shows an image of an iPhone being used for an iMessage chat when the subject of a repayment comes up. In the upper right corner of the screen is a "Make Payment" button that apparently shows up at the discretion of the party that is owed the money.

Another image shows the same iPhone during the same iMessage chat, with the screen revealing how the user would authorize a payment. The recipient's name is listed, and additional recipients can be entered. There is space to type in the dollar amount of the transaction, and a confirm button needs to be pressed to complete the money transfer.

By adding peer-to-peer payment capabilities to iMessage, Apple has the opportunity to attract more iPhone users in the age range of 18-34. According to financial services firm Javelin Strategy & Research, that is the age group in the U.S. that finds peer-to-peer payments popular. What might have you confused is how Apple would make money by offering this feature. It's actually quite simple.

Apple expects peer-to-peer users to be attracted to mobile payment service Apple Pay. And since Apple takes a slice of credit card transactions that use the mobile payment service, the company sees this as a way to take in some additional revenue.

There is no word on when Apple might implement this. And make no mistake about it, such patents might be needed as more messaging apps look to offer financial services. For example, Kik is a popular messaging app that is said to be looking at offering some peer-to-peer payment options for iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile users.

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