Apple’s Venmo killer is finally here — here’s how it works

Apple’s iPhone now has a built-in way to send cash via a text message.

On Monday, the company launched Apple Pay Cash. The feature allows users in the US with an up-to-date iPhone to send money to other iPhone users through the Messages app.

A direct competitor to other digital payment apps like Venmo and Square Cash, Apple Pay Cash was announced in June at Apple’s annual developers’ conference.

It was supposed to launch with iOS 11, the latest version of the operating system underlying the iPhone that Apple released in September. But the company delayed its launch until the release of iOS 11.2, which became available over the weekend.

Unlike its competitors, Apple Pay Cash doesn’t work on Android devices. However, you can send payments using the service via an iPhone, iPad, or an Apple Watch.

Apple said in a tweet that it would roll out Apple Pay Cash to iPhone users over this week. We could use it on Monday, but it’s not available to everyone yet.

Here’s how it works.


You access Apple Pay Cash through the app drawer in the Messages app.

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First, tap the App Store icon next to the box where you type messages. Then, tap the black Apple Pay icon in the dock.


You might have to set it up first.

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You can set up Apple Pay Cash in the Wallet & Apple Pay area inside the Settings app.


You’ll need to verify your identity.

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You’ll have to confirm your legal name and address and type in the last four digits of your Social Security number.


You’ll also have to agree to Apple’s terms and conditions.

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According to those terms, Apple is partnering with Green Dot Bank to provide Apple Pay Cash.


It’s free to send money via Apple Pay Cash — but only if you use a debit card.

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If you use fund the transaction with a credit card instead, Apple will charge 3% per transaction.

Instead of having Apple Pay Cash pull from your credit or debit card each time you make a transaction, you can put some money into your Apple Pay account via one of your linked bank accounts and draw from that when you make a transaction.


Here’s what it looks like when you send or request money.

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The service asks you to confirm the payment before you make it.

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Avery Hartmans

From this screen you can choose the account from which you want to fund the payment – either a credit card account, a debit card account, or your Apple Pay Cash balance. You then confirm the payment with your face, fingerprint, or passcode.


Here’s what a payment looks like inside a chat conversation.

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Check out that black bubble! Apple Pay Cash payments look the same when you receive them, except that they’re on the left side of the chat conversation.


Here’s what the process looks like altogether.

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After receiving a payment, you can transfer the money to your bank account.

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You’ll have to enter your bank account information, including your routing and account number, to link Apple Pay Cash with your bank account.


You can also use Siri to send money via Apple Pay Cash.

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You could try asking Siri: “Apple Pay $25 to Steve for movie tickets,” for example.

You’ll find more Apple Pay instructions from Apple.