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Apple Pay to launch person-to-person payments this year; What will it do in India?


Apple announced during the Worldwide Developer Conference that Apple Pay will enable person-to-person (P2P) payments in the coming iOS 11 later this year, reports the Verge. Apple is looking to get a slice of the P2P payments business, which is currently being cornered by PayPal’s Venmo and Square in the United States. iMessage, Apple’s messaging service, will incorporate Apple Pay. It is unclear if the company will allow other messaging apps to enable P2P payments using Apple Pay.

India will be slightly more tricky: Apple Pay will need to make a number of arrangements with banks, which are largely closed to the idea of enabling payments from third party applications. One option is an integration with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which Samsung Pay has integrated with for P2P payments, apart from partnerships with some of the major banks in the country such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India. WhatsApp is already exploring if it can integrate the UPI. The other option would be to get a Wallets license, which Amazon has done for Amazon Pay, but the future of wallets in India is uncertain.

It is not clear if Apple Pay will be integrating the UPI as well but it has submitted at least five patents in the Indian Patent Office related to digital payments, as shown by this Business Standard story. The patent applications explore the use of biometrics to authenticate payments and securely transferring payment to a device such as a point of sale device.

Apple Pay Cash card

Apple Pay will also be launching a digital debit card called Apple Pay Cash Card which will allow users to make purchases at physical stores and e-commerce sites or transfer the amount back to their bank account. Essentially, it is similar to a digital wallet. We saw the same mechanism in QR code payments by MasterCard where it would create a digital debit card if someone wanted to link a physical card other than MasterCard.

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