Paying the babysitter. Hitting back your brother for lunch. Sending your kids some quick cash at college. Don't break out your wallet or (gasp!) your checkbook. With Circle, sending payments now promises to be as simple as sending an emoji.
Circle for iMessage lets anyone using Apple's new iOS 10 send and receive personal payments--sans fees--to anyone in the world directly within Apple’s iMessage. You can send dollars, euro, pound sterling and even bitcoin.
The company says you can fund payments and cash using almost any bank in the US and UK. Europe is coming soon.
Here's how Circle works. You download the Circle for iMessage app, create an account and then link a debit card for sending payments. You don't even have to go through the traditional app store. iMessage now has a deep link into the App Store, which takes you directly to iMessage apps.
Those on the receiving end of payments using iOS 10 will see an interactive widget they can use to cash out their payment to any bank account or "blockchain-compatible digital wallet" within the Circle app. Android users will receive a URL they can use to cash out.
Circle isn't the only app getting into the mobile payment game via iMessage. Square Cash is a direct competitor that lets you attach money to an iMessage and send to a friend. The app even lets you add optional gift wrapping to keep the amount a surprise.
We'll be putting these and other iMessage payment apps to the test, so stay tuned.