Apple introduced a new major update to its mobile payment system during this week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The tech giant showcased a new peer to peer payment system, which basically lets iOS mobile users send and also receive cash right within the tech giant’s own iMessage app. People can then facilitate and validate payments by way of the iPhone maker’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner technology. If a user receives cash from another user, the money is stored on an Apple Pay Cash Card, that is until the user decides to withdraw it or send it to another person.
Apple is looking to roll out the new peer to peer payment system, not only across mobile devices powered by its iOS mobile operating system, but also to the Apple Watch. This latest mobile payment feature from the tech giant will likely be deployed first in the United States mobile market some time in fall of this year.
Even since Apple first introduced its contactless mode of payment back in October of 2014, it contributed immensely in increasing more awareness among consumers with regards to mobile payment systems. By using the Apple Pay app installed in a new iPhone model or an Apple Watch, iOS users are given the ability to facilitate payment transactions at supported retailers all made possible through the help of near field communications (NFC) technology. Furthermore, users can also take full advantage of Apple Pay in completing purchases in mobile apps without ever needing to provide their credit card information every time. And with the introduction of Mac OS Sierra a year ago, users can now utilize Apple Pay on their Apple computers.
Despite the increase in popularity of Apple Pay, mobile payment systems in general still have a long way to go before becoming mainstream services. It is safe to say that more people now are using contactless modes of payment than ever before, not only through smartphone devices but also through smartwatch devices. Of course, it helps a lot that three of the biggest names in tech (Samsung, Apple, and Google) are fully in on making their respective mobile payment brands more accepted by consumers across the globe.
Just this week, Apple revealed that Apple Pay is supported at around half of all retailers in the United States, which numbers about 5 million locations scattered across the country. Of course, this number can still improve, especially now that Apple Pay will soon be integrated with a peer to peer payment system. Many consider Venmo (by establishment payment giant PayPal) as the number one name when it comes to peer to peer payment systems, but if the new feature on Apple Pay gains enough traction, it might land in a good position to possibly give Venmo a run for its money (as previously speculated).
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