Apple is to challenge Venmo and bank-backed network Zelle by introducing peer-to-peer payments as part of a forthcoming update to its mobile operating system.
The new feature enables users to send money and get paid right in Messages, or tell Siri to pay someone, using the credit and debit cards they already have in Wallet.
When users get paid, they receive the money in a new Apple Pay Cash account. They can use the digital cash instantly to send to someone, make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps and on the web, or transfer it from Apple Pay Cash to their bank account.
Apple is partnering with prepaid payment card company Green Dot on the virtual Apple Pay Cash card, viewed by some as a stepping stone to the creation of a full bank-like payment service.
The popularity of mobile P2P payments among young American consumers was emphasised in a recent Bank of America survey, with more than a third of millennials using services such as Zelle and Venmo to pay each other back.
However, unlike Zelle and Venmo, Apple's service will only work across its own devices.