Apple rumored to be working on competitor to Venmo

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Patently Apple covered two patent applications from Apple about potential new future financial services related to Apple Pay in 2015 and 2016. Apple presumably wouldn't charge any fees for its peer-to-peer money transfer service, so that's where the debit card comes into play, as Apple gets a commission from banks for Apple Pay transactions. To put things into perspective, Recode notes that Chase's QuickPay service processed $28 billion in transfers last year, while Venmo registered $17.6 billion in volume and is still growing year over year. When you transfer money to a friend with Venmo, for instance, it takes a few days for the cash to clear their bank account. The cards would also have their own numbers so that they could be used for online purchases. Apple Pay, while available in many places, hasn't caught on as a payment option as much as Apple would like it to. At the time, it made sense to leave P2P to other companies while focusing on the relatively harder challenge of pushing adoption of contactless payments among both merchants and consumers, or person-to-business (P2B).

These services have typically been money losers for the new entrants in the space, but are seen as the gateway to the next generation of payment and personal finance services. It handled $7.5 billion in transactions in 2015, and almost $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The service has an uphill battle in physical stores because it is not accepted everywhere and is not widely viewed as a significant upgrade over physical cards. Apple Pay is now accepted by over 2,000 banks, worldwide.

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An Apple representative declined to comment on the report. It could be a way to promote Apple Pay and make people add cards to their iPhone instead. Several sources inside big USA banks told Recode that Apple Pay usage has been lighter than expected since it launched two and a half years ago. The numbers alone are reason enough for Apple to step in the game, especially considering Venmo's results amid stiff competition.

Still, limiting the payments service to Apple devices only seems absurd - here's hoping Apple opens up its walled garden just a little bit, should the product ever come to fruition.

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