If you’re a diehard Apple user, you’re going to love the tech giant’s latest news. Last week, Apple announced that iPhone and iPad users will soon be able to send and receive money via iMessage, making cash transfers as easy as sending a text. The update—which will be released later this year as part of Apple’s next iOS 11 software upgrade—will essentially allow Apple Pay to operate as an iMessage app, so users can exchange money with the touch of a button.
When sending money to a friend via iMessage, all you’ll have to do is enter an amount and select what pre-saved credit or debit card you’d like to use to send the funds. If you’re worried about safety, you can also choose to authenticate each transaction with Touch ID.
When you receive money via iMessage, the funds will go directly into your virtual Apple Pay cash card. From there, you can make purchases online or in store, transfer your cash to a bank account, or send money to other Apple Pay users (because hey, sometimes friends all owe each other money in an intricate web of debt).
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Apple Pay’s iMessage feature will likely make the app a direct competitor to several other peer-to-peer payment services, including Venmo, Square Cash and Quickly, although there’s one noticeable feature that separates Apple Pay from the pack: Apple has differentiated its new payment method by keeping it incredibly simple. Unlike Venmo and Square Cash, users won’t be able to include notes with their transactions, which could be good or bad, depending on the level of detail you like for your records. It makes transactions straightforward, but it also means there’s no way for users to look back later and know whether they were paying Mario $12 for dinner last night or sending him $10 for drinks last week.
Unfortunately, iOS 11 isn’t available quite yet, but it will be available as a free software update by fall. Apple Pay’s integration to iMessage will be available on the iPhone SE, the iPhone 6 and any iPhone version later than the iPhone 6, as well as the iPad Pro, iPad fifth generation, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and Apple Watch.
Bonus? With the new update, you’ll be able to tell Siri to send money to friends as well, making it easier than ever to pay off your debts instantly.