According to a new report, Apple is said to be in discussion with banks to build a person-to-person payment system that would allow people to transfer money between phones without the need for cards or checks.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the service "would allow consumers to send payments from their checking accounts to recipients through their Apple devices." If it turns out to be a real thing, it would almost certainly be linked to Apple Pay in some way.
It's unclear how the service would fit with bank infrastructure, or how Apple would make money from the service. However, the report does claim that the folks from Cupertino have been talking to contacts at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Capital One Financial Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and U.S. Bancorp. That's a fairly comprehensive list.
This kind of money transfer system is becoming increasingly popular for casual transactions, whether that's teenagers clubbing together to buy gifts, students sharing a restaurant bill, or parents paying a babysitter. Notably, Facebook and PayPal are big names that have already been pushing the payment style.
Apple, then, is lagging behind -- not that that should particularly surprise you -- if the rumours are true. And if they are accurate, the Journal's sources claim "such a service could get off the ground next year." Take that with a pinch of salt, though ; don't worry, you can pay us back for it later.