Updated 12/5 at 11:00 AM Pacific: Apple confirms Apple Pay Cash is officially available.
Updated 12/5 at 1:30 PM Pacific: watchOS 4.2 for Apple Watch is now available with Apple Pay Cash support.
Chaim Gartenberg for The Verge:
Apple was forced to release iOS 11.2 on Saturday, which was a little earlier than planned, due to a software bug. Now, Apple Pay Cash — one of the marquee features of the update — is being activated for users.
Apple Pay Cash lets users send and receive money directly though iMessages, similar to Venmo or Square Cash. Money that people send you will live on a digital Apple Pay Cash card in the Wallet app, which users can spend anywhere that Apple Pay is accepted, or send to other people. (The new feature is only available in the US for now, though.)
Nice to see this finally launch (if in a weird way), after being delayed from the original iOS 11 release.
The setting to activate Apple Pay Cash seems to be rolling out slowly, as mine didn’t appear until about 7pm Pacific. To check if it’s active for you, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay. Once set up, you’ll find your Apple Pay Cash card inside the Wallet app (along with a cool shimmering animation when you tilt your phone). As you can see in the featured image above, you can send and receive cash in Messages via the Cash app in the app drawer. 1 My Dad … graciously helped me test this important new feature.
This really demonstrates what a trojan horse the Messages app has become (in a good way). Don’t underestimate how important iMessage is to Apple. It’s one of the main reasons people love iPhone, and it keeps them locked into the Apple ecosystem.
It won’t be too long before iOS users relegate Venmo/Square Cash/PayPal to payment methods only for cross-platform because of Apple Pay Cash being baked in.
That was a mouthful. ↩︎