The launch of iOS 11 in September brought a number of exciting features, but one thing that was notably missing was Apple Pay Cash. Thankfully, with the arrival of iOS 11.2 (now in beta), the peer-to-peer payment service is finally arriving on iPhones everywhere.
If you've ever used a peer-to-peer payment service (Square Cash and Venmo are very popular), Apple's approach is pretty similar. The end goal is to provide users with a simple way to send and receive money—Apple's version could potentially disrupt the market simply because it'll be baked right into iOS.
Using Apple Pay Cash is really easy
Like Square Cash or Venmo, Apple Pay Cash couldn't be easier to use. To get started, all you need to do is setup Apple Pay—something you've probably done already—and you'll be good to go.
Once that's finished, hop into Messages and tap on the Apple Pay icon. The Apple Pay Cash screen will overlay onto the onscreen keyboard, with buttons to decrease and increase the monetary amount, as well as buttons for request or pay.
What's cool is that the app will be contextually aware of any dollar amount you've discussed in Messages. So, if a friend says you owe them $50, once you bring Apple Pay up, it'll show $50. After tapping pay, the amount will be authorized using either Touch ID or Face ID.
When you pay someone, it'll come out of the card you registered with Apple Pay. Alternatively, you can choose to use your Apple Pay Cash card, which is like a virtual debit card. If someone sends you money, it'll immediately be added to your Apple Pay Cash card, allowing you to instantly use that money wherever Apple Pay is accepted (both online and in-store).
If you want to transfer money to your bank, you can do that, too, although it'll take a day or two to transfer. Conversely, if you use a credit card to send money through Apple Pay Cash, it'll be subject to fees (debit cards are not).
Because iOS 11.2 is still in beta, only people who have signed up for Apple's beta program can use Apple Pay Cash. However, we anticipate the consumer version of the software will launch in the coming weeks, so you'll be sending money through Apple Pay Cash in no time.