Apple is reportedly going after the peer-to-peer payment sector. According to The Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is having discussions with U.S. banks to collaborate on a person-to-person mobile payments service.
A digital payment service would allow users to send each other money from smartphone to smartphone—such as divvying up a dinner check with friends.
Daniel Ives, managing director and senior analyst at FBR Capital Markets, told CNBC in an interview Thursday that the move could open up a $5 billion market opportunity for Apple over the next three years.
"This is really part of Cook's grand vision, losing the physical wallet," Ives said on CNBC's "Tech Bet," referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook. "It's tangential to Apple Pay, but it's really Apple's opportunity to get ... into that e-commerce sector."
He added: "This is a smart strategic move to put their hat in the ring here."
The move into peer-to-peer payments would put Apple into competition with services such as the PayPal-owned Venmo. According to the Journal report, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, US Bancorp and Capital One are the banks involved in discussions with Apple.
While details of how banks and even Apple would get compensated are unclear, Ives said banks have an incentive to team up with the tech giant given the widespread use of iOS devices around the world.
Apple did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.
Disclosure: Ives does not own shares of Apple. FBR acts as a market maker or liquidity provider for Apple's securities.