Apple Pay is soon launching person-to-person payments

This feature is available as an iMessage app, and can be invoked from the new app drawer in Messages.

Announced during a mammoth two-hour press conference at the start of the company's annual Worldwide Developer Conference, the new payment feature will be a part of iOS 11, which is available as a beta for developers now, and will arrive for consumers in the autumn.

With Apple person-to-person payments, you can send money directly to your contacts via iMessage.

What this means is that, every iOS user will now be issued with a virtual card, which of course, will hold the balance of whatever is left from any payment made.

According to the Verge, money will be transferred to an "Apple Pay Cash Card", noting that Apple has not verified whether money can then be transferred to a user's own bank account. Apple Pay is a strong competitor of Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Ali Pay. In addition to "sources close to the matter" hinting several times that the system was in the works, Apple applied for a patent for a peer-to-peer payment network.

The Apple Pay update was unveiled at WWDC 2017, and will launch with iOS 11 later this year.

Although late in the P2P payments game, Apple's new feature will likely be a threat to PayPal, Square Cash, and other similar services.

The announcement comes after Recode reported that Apple had been working on a service to rival Venmo back in April.

Messages already supports some third-party apps, which is where Apple Pay will be located.

Federighi claims that Apple Pay is the top contactless payment service on mobile devices nationwide.

That, in turn, could boost usage of the Apple Pay service, which has been underwhelming in the almost three years since it launched, bank sources previously told Recode.

Peer-to-peer payments allow users to send money to family and friends using smartphones. "When users get paid, they can use the money instantly to send to someone or make purchases using Apple Pay in stores, apps, and on the web, or transfer to their bank account". Pay Cash is linked with Apple Pay, a payment service that lets users shop and pay bills using the iPhone, Apple Watch-compatible devices, iPad, and Mac.

  • Zachary Reyes