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Apple's competitor to Venmo could be on the way

30 April 2017

Sources speaking with Recode told the publication they expect the company to announce the new service later this year, although of course they warned that plans can still change. In other words, Apple is looking to build a Venmo competitor that would allow iPhone owners to transfer funds to and from others' iPhone handsets.

Apple flirted with the idea before (in 2015, as the aforementioned article notes) but backed away, likely because such services aren't immediate winners and the marketplace was already starting to feel crowded at that point. However, Apple has seen great success with its mobile payments platform, Apple Pay. According to a report by Recode, Apple and Visa are now in talks to introduce prepaid digital debit cards that would allow users to spend money received from others. But the sheer size of Apple's installed base and its ability to push these new services out to people quickly via an operating system update without needing to prompt for any new app downloads or account sign ups still shouldn't be underestimated.

PayPal reported first-quarter results yesterday, and said Venmo total payments volume (TPV) more than doubled year over year to $6.8 billion as the service continues to gain momentum.

This alleged pre-paid card may run on Visa's debit network and be connected with the aforementioned peer-to-peer service. Apple Pay may not be able to control users, which has prompted the company to think of a new way to attract them. However, not all consumers are willing to use it and pay a fee just to send a friend $3.

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Should the product successfully launch, Apple is hoping to compete PayPal's subsidiary Venmo, as well as Chase's QuickPay. The numbers alone are reason enough for Apple to step in the game, especially considering Venmo's results amid stiff competition.

The potential of Apple getting its own debit card, however, is not sitting well with some bank executives, sources told Recode.

The virtual debit card would work in retail stores and online.

Apple Pay launched in October 2014 in an attempt to capture a chunk of that business.

Apple's competitor to Venmo could be on the way