Apple Awarded Mobile Payments Patent
March 8, 2012
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this week approved a patent application by Apple concerning the rules governing financial transactions by a subsidiary mobile payment account. That is, the company has patented the process by which a parent with a primary account might have control over the way a child, holding a secondary account, uses their mobile device to make payments. According to the patent's description, "the financial transaction rules may be based upon transaction amounts, aggregate spending amounts over a period, merchant categories, specific merchants, geographic locations, or the like.”
The patent drawings include an image of an iPhone with an app screen showing an “E-Wallet” app—though most observers have been calling it “iWallet.” Mobile payments industry experts have been speculating for some time that Apple would throw its hat in the mobile-wallet race with Google and carrier JV Isis, but the popular consumer products company has not made any announcements.
“Apple's patent reviews credit card transaction rules and shows us that the credit card companies will be sending statements directly to your iTunes account,” says Apple-focused IP blog Patently Apple. “The iWallet project just became a little more real [Tuesday], and for many, it can't come soon enough.”