Circle, Square, and Venmo Tie Into Siri & iMessage

  • Philip Ryan
  • September 20, 2016
  • 1

imessage_paymentsWith the launch of iOS 10 on Sept. 13, new payment functionality was enabled for Siri, iOS’s voice-activated virtual assistant, and iMessage, Apple’s text-based messaging platform.

The first wave of payments apps on Apple’s newly platformized apps are: Venmo, the P2P payments platform from PayPal; Square Cash, from mobile payments service Square; and Circle, a bitcoin wallet and all-around money transfer service.

The services themselves are “apps” on the two platforms, and permission must be given for them to move into Siri and iMessage. Once there, they work well — it’s no accident that these three services are among the most user-friendly of all the fintech apps out there. Neobank Moven, another app that generally runs near the head of the pack, is in development for both platforms as well.

A test of Square Cash shows that the recipient needs to be on iOS 10 as well, though it’s not clear why since iMessage takes the recipient straight to his Square Cash app.

As for why payments only work through apps and are not native to iMessage using Apple Pay, as they are native to Facebook Messenger, Brian Roemmele, payments guru and CEO of Payfinders, told Bank Innovation to stay tuned because more is on the way:

Slow process. This is the way of Apple. They opened the API and we have Venmo + Square Cash + others. So the process is starting where before there were zero payments.

We will see other commercial payments by 3rd quarter 2017.

It will be very big.

Voice commerce, via Siri and Alexa and others, is Roemmele’s current hobby, and the next battleground for chat and payments.

Learn more about payments at Bank Innovation Israel in Tel Aviv on Nov. 2. Register here.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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