Apple are continuing to broaden their horizons. With iPad sales having plateaued and their Watch making a solid rather than spectacular debut, the Cupertino giants are increasingly looking towards providing different software services for Apple customers, in order to maintain profits that have been traditionally built on huge hardware sales.


This year has seen them launch their streaming service Apple Music to take on products from Amazon, Google and Spotify, while the continued evolution of Apple TV hints at a long-term plan to infiltrate the global cable and satellite TV market.


The next industry on Apple’s horizon appears to be that of banking payments. They launched Apple Pay last year in the U.S. and in the UK in summer 2015; it’s a mobile payment and digital wallet service enabling users to make payments via their Apple devices, replacing the use of credit or debit cards.


According to industry rumours, the next step in the Apple’s evolution revolution will be the development of a peer-to-peer money transfer service. This came as a blow to the web payment leaders PayPal, with their share price tumbling by 2% at the news.


PayPal have enjoyed success with their peer-lending app Venmo, which has proved successful amongst a young demographic. Venmo processed €2.4 billion worth of payments in 2014, with the app enabling users to easily send and request money from one another.


It’s a digital solution to that age-old problem of how best to split a collective bill, in an era when fewer and fewer people are carrying cash. The next stage is to monetise the service. In October, the PayPal chief executive Dan Schulman announced trials allowing users to pay with Venmo at PayPal merchants. The merchants would have to pay a fee on these payments, just as they do with other PayPal transactions.


Yet if Apple’s history has taught us anything, it’s that they’re masters at letting others innovate, before refining the user-experience to take their position as market leader. With a broader range of products and sources of income than PayPal, Apple would not necessarily have to charge for transactions, with the product instead boosting sales of their devices.


It’s not just PayPal’s territory that Apple are entering. Other sectors of the payment ecosystem, such as ATM operators and credit-card firms, could also see their market share hit.


Back in January the Apple CEO Tim Cook predicted that 2015 would become the year of Apple Pay. With only 13% of eligible users making use of the service, it’s proved to be a little over-optimistic, yet Cook is continuing to put his faith in the increasing digitalisation of payment.


Answering questions from students at Dublin’s Trinity College this week, Cook claimed that in the future, “Your kids will not know what money is.”


Is this a clear representation of the future? Perhaps a more accurate description is that while future generations will continue to know exactly what money is, they will be more likely to carry it in their iPhone than their pockets.