What's new in Apple Pay? person to person payments in Messages

Apple Pay is an incredibly useful payment service from Apple that wins across all payment services thanks to encrypted transactions. That means, everything you buy at any supported retailer doesn't get tracked by credit card companies and doesn't get sold to interested data tracking companies. It's almost as private as paying with cash.

In iOS 11, Apple Pay is going to be extended to more than just retailers and restaurants. You'll be able to pay your buddy back for covering the cab ride, or tell your sister she still owes you for the cost of the shared hotel you fronted. It's called person to person payment and its available in Messages on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch running iOS 11.

So how does it work?

It's kinda magical. All you have to do is send a chat in the Messages app to someone with a dollar amount in it. When you tap the dollar amount, a tool will pop up allowing you to either request or pay the amount. Tap Pay if you want to send someone money, or Request if you want someone to pay you money.

If you're requesting money, a link to make the payment via Apple Pay will show up in the Messages chat window. If you're paying someone, when you hit the Send button, you'll be prompted to use Touch ID to complete the transaction.

That's it! Payment sent. Payment received.

But where does that money I've received go?

You're not a giant retail store or a credit card company. You're just one person. So, how do you get your money from Apple Pay after your friend sends it to you?

Initially, the cash will store up in your Apple Pay account, sort of like a virtual debit card, that you can use to buy stuff with anywhere it's supported, including retail stores.

If, however, you find yourself wishing you had that dough in your bank account, it's no problem. You can transfer it directly without having to pay a service fee (though you will probably have to wait two days for the transfer to complete).

But my iPhone doesn't have Touch ID, how do I use Apple Pay in Messages?

You don't.

Not only is Apple Pay on the iPhone only available with Touch ID supported devices, it's also only available on iOS 11, which means older iOS devices won't be able to take advantage of the peer-to-peer payment service. It is also only going to be available in the U.S. to start.

Apple Pay in Messages is supported in the following devices running iOS 11 or higher:

  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 6 and later
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad 5th Generation
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini 3 and later
  • Apple Watch

When can I start using it?

You and your peeps will have to be running iOS 11 on supported devices, so you won't be able to split the dinner bill with your friends using Apple Pay until later this fall unless you're all running a beta version that it works in.

Find out everything else that's coming to iOS 11

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about person to person Apple Pay payments in Messages in iOS 11? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out!

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).