Apple Pay likely to incorporate person-to-person payments in 2016

Personal transactions reportedly coming to Apple's mobile system

Apple Pay has quickly become the face of contactless mobile payments, with the platform available to iPhone and Apple Watch users, but right now it's all about sending money to businesses. That could change next year, however.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is having discussions with top United States banks about expanding Apple Pay's reach to include person-to-person payments. Banks like Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bancorp have reportedly discussed the prospects with Apple.

Currently, apps like PayPal's Venmo and the rebooted Google Wallet allow for easy peer-to-peer transactions, while some banks have their own particular apps and platforms for personal payments. Part of the hassle of getting Apple's option off the ground will surely be navigating all of those individual bank platforms and connecting the dots between them.

The report says that Apple's service isn't right around the corner, with no definitive word on agreements between the company and top banks, but that a debut sometime in 2016 is possible.

It also suggests that Apple may simply tap into an existing payment service from top banks called clearXchange, and loop that into Apple Pay. That would allow users to send money from a checking account to anyone with an email address or mobile number. Apple may not view this particular addition as a money-making venture, the report suggests, but rather a way to improve Apple Pay and the overall benefits of the iPhone.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]