One of the most significant new features of iOS 11 is now available to iPhone users. Apple Pay Cash has launched alongside the iOS 11.2 update. First introduced by Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017, the new feature allows you to send and request cash from the native Messages app or by asking Siri.
Today we’ll look at Apple Pay Cash in greater detail and learn how to set it up. We’ll also cover some alternatives and how they compare to Apple’s new service.
What Is Apple Pay Cash?
Apple Pay is mobile payment and digital wallet service, first introduced in 2014. It’s available on various Apple products, including iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac. It allows you to make payments in person, in iOS apps, and on the internet using near field communication or NFC.
With Apple Pay Cash, you can get paid and pay other users right in Messages. There’s no app to download, and you can use the cards in your iOS Wallet app.
Money sent or received using Apple Pay Cash is stored on your virtual Apple Pay Cash card, or you can transfer it from an existing debit or credit card at the time of the transaction. You can use the money on your Apple Pay Cash card during a traditional Apple Pay transaction, or transfer the amount to your bank account.
At launch, Apple Pay Cash is only available to those 18 years or older in the United States. To use the service, you must meet the following conditions:
- A compatible device with iOS 11.2 or later
- Two-factor authentication for your Apple ID
- A credit or debit card in Wallet for spending money
Apple Pay Cash Setup
If you meet these conditions, you can set up Apple Pay Cash using your iPhone’s Settings app.
From here, select Wallet & Apple Pay and turn the Apple Pay Cash toggle to the “on” position. If necessary, log in with your Apple ID and then follow the prompts.
Click Apple Pay Cash and select Verify Your Identity. You’re asked to verify your legal name, date of birth, home address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Using Apple Pay Cash
When you access the native Messages app for the first time after setting up Apple Pay Cash, you’ll see a pop-up screen indicating the service is ready for use. You’ll also see a new Apple Pay icon in your Messages app drawer.
Tap on the Apple Pay Cash icon to send/receive money. If the recipient doesn’t use Apple Pay Cash, you’ll see the following message:
You’ll know someone uses Apple Pay Cash when you notice a keypad on the bottom half of your iPhone screen.
Select Request or Pay and then add a comment. Next, hit the Send button like you do when sending other text messages.
When you don’t have enough Apple Pay Cash to send money, you’re asked to approve the transaction using one of your other credit or debit accounts in your Wallet. Apple doesn’t charge you when sending money using a debit account. However, you are charged a small fee when using a credit card.
Accessing Your Money
Want to spend some of your Apple Pay Cash? You can do so at any retailer that supports Apple Pay, either in person, through an app, or via the web. Another option is to transfer the cash to your bank account. You can only move money using your banking routing and account numbers, not through a debit card.
To withdrawal money from Apple Pay Cash, go into the Settings app under Wallet & Apple Pay.
Tap Apple Pay Cash, then Transfer to Bank.
If you don’t have a bank account set up with Apple Pay Cash, you must do so now. Once you do, follow the on-screen directions. You should see they money in your account within one to three business days.
From the Apple Pay Cash screen, you can add money to your virtual Cash card from this screen. Under “Transactions” you’ll also see a running list of previous Apple Pay Cash transactions.
You can also contact Apple Support from this screen and request a statement, which Apple sends to you via email.
At launch, Apple Pay Cash has a maximum Apple Pay Cash card balance of $20,000. You can only add money from a U.S. debit card or prepaid card that’s in Apple Pay. Note the following criteria:
- Per transaction, you may add a minimum of $10.
- Per transaction, you can add up to $3,000.
- Within a seven-day period, you may add a maximum of $10,000.
Sending and receiving limits:
- Per message, you can send/receive a minimum of $1.
- Per message, you can send/receive up to $3,000.
- Within a seven-day period, you can send/receive a maximum of $10,000.
Bank transfer limits are as follows::
- You can transfer a minimum of $1 to your bank, or the entire balance if it’s under $1.
- You can transfer no more than $3,000 to your bank in one transfer.
- Within a seven-day period, you can transfer up to $20,000.
You can find the latest Apple Pay Cash limits by visiting the Apple Support website.
Alternatives to Apple Pay Cash
If you like the Apple Pay Cash concept but aren’t quite ready to use something so new, there are alternatives. Three of the biggest, Venmo, Google Wallet, and Square Cash, have the distinction of being available for iOS and Android. Most also function in territories where Apple Pay and the virtual Cash card are not in use.
Venmo is one of the most popular mobile payments service currently on the market. Available through mobile devices and the web, the service allows you to send and receive cash from other Venmo members.
Like Apple Pay, you can use your Venmo balance immediately either through mobile web or in apps. Look for Venmo as a payment option at checkout. Additionally, you can also transfer your money to your bank account, which could take up to three business days for the funds to clear.
Google Wallet is very similar to Apple Pay Cash. You can send money through the Google Wallet app, in Gmail, or on the web. You can also send money to someone with just their email address or phone number. Any money sent to you gets transferred to your bank account automatically.
The Square Cash app offers a similar solution, allowing you to send and receive cash and deposit the money directly to your bank. Other options include Intuit Go Payment and Google Wallet.
After limited use, I have found Apple Pay Cash simple to use and worth a look. It’s perhaps the easiest to use cash payment system to launch to date. It will be interesting to see how the product develops in the coming months and years. It’s available in the free iOS 11.2 app update from Apple.
Are you planning on trying Apple Pay Cash? Let us know in the comments below.