Q. If I use Apple Pay Cash on my iPhone, can I send money to anybody? What do you need to do to set it up?
A. To use the person-to-person cash feature of the Apple Pay system, you and your recipients need certain Apple hardware to exchange money through the Messages, Contacts or Siri apps. So for starters, you cannot use Apple Pay Cash to send electronic funds directly to someone who might be using Google Pay on an Android phone.
Compatible devices include the iPhone 6 and later (and the iPhone SE) or an Apple Watch. If all involved have at least a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, an iPad Mini 3 or later, fifth- and sixth-generation iPad models, an iPad Air 2 or an iPad Pro, you should also be able to use Apple Pay Cash.
On the software side, Apple Pay Cash also requires at least iOS 11.2 and watchOS 4.2, but you do not need to download a separate app, as it works with those already on your device. Because security is important, you need to have the two-factor authentication setting enabled for your Apple ID account and be signed into iCloud on any gadget you want to use to exchange Apple Pay Cash.
Once you have met all those conditions, you can start to set up Apple Pay Cash. Open the iOS Settings app, choose Wallet & Apple Pay from the list and tap Apple Pay Cash. Follow the instructions on the screen to configure your account and add money to it. Once you set up your account on your phone, you can manage your funds by opening the Wallet app from the home screen, tapping the Apple Pay Cash card and tapping the encircled “i” icon.
Apple Pay Cash itself requires a credit card or debit card, and you must be 18 or older to use the service. You may also have to verify your identity to Apple, which involves submitting information like a driver’s license, government identification, your Social Security number and other personal details.
For those who prefer the Android ecosystem, Google’s website has a guide for setting up its Google Pay Send service on a phone running at least Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). The service also works on Apple devices running iOS 7 or later.
If you need a cashless payment system that is less entwined with a specific mobile platform, other services are available. Some of these are Square Cash, Venmo, Zelle and PayPal.
Personal Tech invites questions about computer-based technology to email@example.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.