Earlier this week, Apple started rolling out Apple Pay Cash, a feature that lets Apple device users in the United States send money to friends and family via iMessage. The feature will eventually be available to all Apple users on compatible iPhones, iPad and Apple Watches in the United States. Having been announced at Apple’s annual developers’ conference in June, the direct competitor to services such as Venmo and Square Cash was originally supposed to launch in September but has been delayed for unknown reasons.
The ability to send money to friends is a feature that has been long-awaited by Apple Pay users who had to rely on competing services such as Venmo for such functionality up until now. The PayPal-owned payment app Venmo has grown fairly popular over the past few years, as Millennials in particular seem to enjoy the convenience of sending money by the touch of a finger. As our chart illustrates, the total payment volume processed by Venmo has risen from $2.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015 to $9 billion in the most recent quarter.
It’ll be interesting to observe whether Apple Pay Cash can put a dent in Venmo’s growth trajectory. While Apple has the advantage of direct integration within iMessage on millions of Apple devices, Venmo has a head start and is available across different platforms.