Apple's iPhone e-wallet concept suggests payment options based on context

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2014
An iPhone-driven e-wallet service from Apple could simplify checking out at the store by presenting users with options based on data such as their location, current balance, or applicable rewards cards.

Patent


The details come from a patent application continuation published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday entitled "Payment Options Based on Location." Discovered by AppleInsider, the filing describes an e-wallet system that would provide users with "smart menus" based on the context of a transaction.

In the application, Apple notes that even with current physical wallets, consumers generally opt for the payment option that is most convenient at the time. For example, a shopper may simply grab the credit card that is at the top of their wallet, without considering that alternative payment options could offer more benefits.

Credit card companies that provide customers with rewards frequently offer bonus points during certain periods for specific types of transactions, such as restaurants or gas. A smart, connected e-wallet system from Apple could be aware of those rewards, and would recommend cards to customers based on this data.

Patent


Apple's proposed system could also identify a user's location and determine what store they are at. Much like Passbook already automatically displays store cards, Apple's e-wallet system could provide users with the applicable store card as part of the checkout process.

The application shows a system that would allow an iPhone to manage multiple credit card accounts. With the appropriate login information, Apple could even track remaining balances on these accounts, and make contextual recommendations at checkout based on such data.

The system could even allow customers to review potential financing plans when making a purchase. In one example, the user is presented with an interest rate, minimum monthly payment, and any applicable late fees or due dates.

Patent


Users could also manually manage a list of stores, and modify their preferred payment method for each location. Stores could be organized in categories, making businesses easier to find and edit.

Cards could even be ranked generally in order of priority. For example, a user may place their Discover card at No. 1, but in the event that a store does not accept that card, the system could then attempt to use the shopper's No. 2 card of choice, Mastercard.

In illustrations included with the filing, Apple's e-wallet functionality is driven by a new application named "Shopping." It features an old fashioned cash register as its icon.

The application shows Apple's payment system driven by an iPhone with an included near-field communications chip. To date, no Apple hardware has included NFC functionality, as the company has instead opted to rely on Bluetooth for short-range wireless functions.

Patent


The NFC functionality could even allow users to easily transfer money to one another using just their iPhones. In one example, two iPhones within range of one another are used to move funds from one person's account to the other's.

The filing, published by the USPTO on Thursday, was first made by Apple in September of 2012, but is a continuation of filings dating back to September of 2008. The proposed invention is credited to Andrew Hodge, Michael Rosenblatt, Amir M. Mikhak, Gloria Lin, and Taido L. Nakajima.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Yep, that's Apple.

  • Reply 2 of 22
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    In many stores, the Cellular signal is weak. Practically this works slowly I guess.


    But, the idea is Apple-icious. 

  • Reply 3 of 22
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    Their payment solution is looking more brilliant all the time.  While others are just plunking an NFC chip in the device and hoping VISA will "do something" with it, Apple creates a super-secure iPhone with fingerprint recognition that manages your credit cards and bank accounts.  


     


    What's really important about this is that it *subjugates* your VISA card to a position where it's just one part of a mobile payment solution.  VISA (and Mastercard etc.) are actually the opposition in this market, not Android or Google. 


     


    I wouldn't be surprised if like everything else they do, it eradicates established players and captures the market overnight.

  • Reply 4 of 22
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member
    eventually, soon, hopefully, credit card providers will reside on your iPhone instead in the leather wallet.
  • Reply 5 of 22


    Better get HUGE into entertainment, software and service business because you cannot keep on going iphone 50, iwatch 20, iTV 10, icar5 and so on.......If Apple as a company has an ego, they are done. Steve Jobs was an exceptional. Apple needs to borrow some Advanced Alien from the outer world to beat Steve Jobs!

  • Reply 6 of 22
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member


    Slightly off-topic- Does anyone else find it odd we have had basically no leaks or rumors about the upcoming iPhone outside of things they are guessing?  Faster processor & better camera (duh & duh)?


    Surprised we haven't seen some random chip yet that they could claim is NFC.  Whether it be real or not is debatable- but to not see anything is kind of weird for May 16th... Just ~4-5 months from release...

  • Reply 7 of 22
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member
    Most stores require you to swipe the magnetic strip of your credit card into a PIN pad device. How is an iphone going to accomplish this?
  • Reply 8 of 22
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member


    At the risk of sounding like the knee-jerk whiners who are continually slamming Apple for not doing anything new recently...


    I love all the cool ideas that seem to float out of Cupertino, but when are they going to actually RELEASE something? Its been 9 months since they shipping anything at all, and I'm getting tired of watching my AAPL shrink as they seem to be navel gazing.


     


    </whine>

  • Reply 9 of 22
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    In many stores, the Cellular signal is weak. Practically this works slowly I guess.
    But, the idea is Apple-icious. 

    Stores and shopping centers are starting to add more and more wifi so this isn't perhaps as much of an issue as it seems
  • Reply 10 of 22
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    . Apple needs to borrow some Advanced Alien from the outer world to beat Steve Jobs!

    You presume Apple is now or will ever try to "beat Steve Jobs"
  • Reply 11 of 22
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    jd_in_sb wrote: »
    Most stores require you to swipe the magnetic strip of your credit card into a PIN pad device. How is an iphone going to accomplish this?

    I won't. This system will work off some other system. Iike how Gap can look up your account number for their card in their system, Starbucks has their giftcards in passbook that make a scannable QR/barcode etc. both of which are better choices over grabbing your debit card as they give you rewards etc. just the kind of system that this is about.

    As yes as I imply I think this is going to be an add on to the system started with Passbook.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    It will probably cause an increase in iPhone muggings because a number of people will not have a pass code lock and their phone will have money in it.


     


    BTW I read that Google is rolling out a new feature in Gmail where you can attach money to an email.

  • Reply 13 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    BTW I read that Google is rolling out a new feature in Gmail where you can attach money to an email.



     


    Hmm. In what format?

  • Reply 14 of 22
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post





    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    BTW I read that Google is rolling out a new feature in Gmail where you can attach money to an email.



     


    Hmm. In what format?



    It uses Google Wallet. You can also use a credit card but processing fees apply. You can even send money to people who do not have Gmail. Apparently it is in a small private beta but if one of those people sends you money, your Gmail account enables the feature. It shows a $ down in the attachment menu.

  • Reply 15 of 22
    You might want to look at U.S. Patent No. 7,873,710 and 8,156,206 (Contextual Data Communications Platform) which predates this idea and allows for exactly the same thing across all platforms.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,758member
    NFC for moving money from phone to phone?
    *bling* "Whee!" /s
  • Reply 17 of 22
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,758member
    Hmm. In what format?

    Facebook dollars. Instagram is worth a billion of those. :lol:
  • Reply 18 of 22
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    Hmm. In what format?
    Amazon coins
  • Reply 19 of 22
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    andysol wrote: »
    Slightly off-topic- Does anyone else find it odd we have had basically no leaks or rumors about the upcoming iPhone outside of things they are guessing?  Faster processor & better camera (duh & duh)?
    Surprised we haven't seen some random chip yet that they could claim is NFC.  Whether it be real or not is debatable- but to not see anything is kind of weird for May 16th... Just ~4-5 months from release...

    The following are "known" about the next generation iPhone:

    CPU
    GPU
    802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, NFC solution
    CDMA, GSM/EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, DC-HSPA, LTE, TD-LTE solution
    Camera module
  • Reply 20 of 22
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

    CPU

    GPU

    802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, NFC solution

    CDMA, GSM/EDGE, UMTS, HSPA+, DC-HSPA, LTE, TD-LTE solution

    Camera module


     


    Ooh… Uh… I wouldn't even be sure about these, but overall we can narrow it down a touch further. ARM CPU, Bluetooth 4.0, two camera modules (gasp!)…

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