Apple in Talks to Launch a Venmo Competitor
Apple appears to be considering the launch of a service that would compete with Venmo. Such a service would allow iPhone users to send money digitally to other iPhone users.
According to a report from Recode, anonymous sources are reporting that talks have begun between Apple and payments industry partners to create this service. These same sources say Apple would likely announce the official launch of the service during their fall iPhone event. Other sources report a release will come much later, as Apple is still in the early planning stages.
Whatever the specific timeline, sources report the service would include a partnership with Visa. Users would be given a prepaid Visa card that would work anywhere Visa is accepted. The cards would be tied to the service, and would allow users to have immediate access to their funds instead of waiting for the deposit to clear their bank. Since the cards would have their own numbers, they could also be used to pay for goods online.
The new prepaid card may also encourage adoption of Apple Pay, as it would allow users to add the card to their digital wallet and use it as they would any other credit card.
However, some bank executives may be worried about this new Apple prepaid card.
“Banks spent heavily in insuring their cards were top of wallet when they all built and rolled out Apple Pay,” Cherian Abraham, a digital payments executive at Experian, told Recode. “So it’s justifiable to be concerned that Apple will have its own card and could potentially be top of wallet. If you are top of wallet, you are top of mind.”
The company was first rumored to be working on such a program in 2015, when MacRumors reported that Apple was in talks with a collection of U.S. banks in the hopes of offering a Venmo-like product.