Apple Pay Cash Preview: A Look at Apple's New Peer-to-Peer Payments Service

Apple Pay Cash, Apple's promised peer-to-peer payments service, is finally here. As of yesterday, U.S. public beta testers and developers running the latest beta of iOS 11.2 are able to use the Apple Pay Cash feature ahead of its official release.

With Apple Pay Cash now available for testing, we thought we'd take a close look at the new feature to see just how it works. As it turns out, Apple Pay Cash is dead simple to use, but there are many hidden details about the feature you'll want to know.


Apple Pay Cash is designed to let you transfer money to and from family, friends, and co-workers. If, for example, a co-worker picks up a coffee for you on the way to work and you want to reimburse them, Apple Pay Cash is the perfect solution. If you paid for your brother's dinner last week and want your cash back, Apple Pay Cash is a quick and easy solution.

All Apple Pay Cash transactions are conducted through the Messages app on the iPhone (and on the Apple Watch in watchOS 4.2). There's a new Apple Pay Cash app built into Messages, and tapping on this brings up the Apple Pay Cash interface. From here, you can choose to send or request money right in a one-to-one Messages conversation.

When sending money, the person on the other end simply needs to tap your incoming Apple Pay Cash message to accept, and that money is offloaded onto a new Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app. Money can be sent using a debit card, credit card, or Apple Pay Cash card, but all money received is stored on the Apple Pay Cash card. The Apple Pay Cash card is provided by Green Dot, a company that offers prepaid Discover cards.

Sending money from your debit card or Apple Pay Cash card is free, but there's a 3% fee when you use a credit card. Money on your Apple Pay Cash card can be used to make Apple Pay purchases or it can be sent to your bank account. For more details on setting up and using Apple Pay Cash, make sure to check out our full Apple Pay Cash how to.

There are limits on Apple Pay Cash. When adding cash to your card, it's a $10 minimum or a $3,000 maximum. When sending or receiving money, there's a $1 minimum and a $3,000 maximum, and a $10,000 maximum over 7 days. Once you've sent or received $500, you're going to need to verify your identity, which involves confirming personal details and uploading a picture of a photo ID.

Apple Pay Cash is limited to the United States right now, and to use the feature, both people need to be running the latest iOS 11.2 beta. An iPhone 6 or later is required, two-factor authentication must be turned on, and an eligible credit or debit card must be available in Wallet.

Apple will presumably launch Apple Pay Cash officially with the iOS 11.2 update, so non-beta testers may not have long to wait before the feature is widely available.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

solipsism Avatar
42 months ago

I don't know... Facebook messanger has this feature for over a year now and you don't have to deal with a virtual third-party card. Also I can send money to everybody with a Facebook account.

You mean the service that has you add a card to your Facebook account as opposed to Apple's solution which keeps your card data on the device in the Secure Element, not stored on FB's servers? Yeah, I'll stick with a secure solution where my bank sends and receives secure transactions based on a representational card number instead of never sending my physical card number and never having Apple store my card in iCloud.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mudflap Avatar
42 months ago

I don't know... Facebook messanger has this feature for over a year now and you don't have to deal with a virtual third-party card. Also I can send money to everybody with a Facebook account.

But with Facebook you're the product. I don't trust Facebook at all. I trust Apple. iMessages are encrypted.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rGiskard Avatar
42 months ago
This sounds complicated enough to warrant the question: why not just use a cryptocurrency or something like paypal?

Apple also lack the marketshare to create enough of a network effect for Apple Pay Cash to catch on. Why even bother setting it up if only iPhone users can send and receive? Far easier to use something universal.

As someone who uses paypal and several cryptocurrencies, I struggle to think of a scenario in which Apple Pay Cash is worth the trouble to set up.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nemesa Avatar
42 months ago

Let’s be honest, this is a game changer.

I don't know... Facebook messanger has this feature for over a year now and you don't have to deal with a virtual third-party card. Also I can send money to everybody with a Facebook account.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WolfSnap Avatar
42 months ago
I've been trying to find information on Apple Pay Cash's sending/receiving policies, and so far haven't had that much success..

I read the terms and conditions, and in there, it says that payments are non-refundable once sent. Great! BUT, if I send money from a credit card and/or a debit card, I can always get that charge reversed...

Now, let's say I'm selling an iPhone on Craigslist, and we both agree to pay via. Apple Pay Cash.

But, unknown to me was that the person who I'm selling the phone to is a huge scammer and as soon as I give him the iPhone (and receive the Apple Pay Cash payment), he's on the phone with his credit card company claiming that the charge wasn't authorized.

Let's also assume that the credit card company sides with the scammer..

What happens to the money I received? Does it get returned to the issuing bank? Am I on the hook for the money? What if I've already transferred the money to my bank? Is it going to get reversed from there too?

Or, is this the risk Apple/Green Dot is taking, and THEY will absorb the loss and go after the scammer for the loss, meanwhile I'm safe and secure with the Apple Pay Cash payment I received?

Sure, payments from friends are fine -- but, for this to really be useful, I need to know what happens in the event that someone claims it was an unauthorized payment...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
42 months ago
I installed iOS 11.2.pb2 yesterday and then tried to activate Apple Cash. Was a bit surprised and disappointed by experience:

Some comments:
- in verifying my identity during set up, I entered the address I use for all my written correspondence, my PO box (we took down the curb box long ago), I consider this my “home” mailing address;
- the set-up indicated home (not physical) address, but did not exclude POB’s;
- upon entering, the tool said it could not verify and said I’d have to call Apple;
- using the number provided I was connected to an Apple advisor, who asked a number of questions before connecting me to an “Apple Cash specialist”;
- had to repeat this step 3 times because the 1st Time i could hardly hear the specialist as there was so much static on the line and the call dropped;
- 2nd time was my fault as while I was waiting to be connected to the specialist I put Skype on mute and couldn’t get off mute quickly enough (they gave me ample opportunity to do this, but I was to slow);
- 3rd time the Apple guy started to create a case file, unlike 1 & 2, and asked for IMEI before I told him I should just be connected thru, he went off line to check then came back to hand off to the specialist;
- the specialists are employees of GreenDot Inc. in Spartanburg, SC (NC?);
- both the first Apple Advisor and the 3rd specialist said there had been many activation problems. The advisor said a fix was being implemented and users were being asked to wait until Thursday and to call back;
- also said that they didn’t want to lose customers and preferred users not use the alternative of requesting account deletion (she said this several times as we talked as if this was a major talking point she had been drilled on);
- at some point she said I would have to scan my ID and “it would be shared with their verification partner and it would be retained as long as required” (I think she said also “by law”);
- I told her given all the PII breaches of late, I wasn’t cool with having to now share this with a 3rd (green dot) and 4th (unknown partner);
- I asked why this was even necessary, she said because of FDIC rules and may have said something about crime prevention and fraud but I was thinking about this requirement;
- I told her I couldn’t use this service without linking it to a credit or debit card, and I was already verified by the financial institutions that issued them, and why wasn’t that enough (AMEX is a bank, USBank is a bank, my credit unions are banks);
- I really didn’t expect her to be able to answer because such was not a conversation likely contemplated by her training;
- I told her that I found the photo verification requirement to be excessive and out of line with the simplicity of most things Apple and I wasn’t comfortable sharing more data, and at this point I don’t need to have it set up;
- so I told her that I didn’t see a point in waiting until Thursday to call back for verification because I didn’t like the verification requirements so I wanted to delete my account. She tried to dissuade me several times “would hate to lose a customer” but she did it;
- in the settings the Cash Card displays a closed badge.
- in the wallet the Cash card says the account “has been closed by request” but can be renewed.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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