New Apple patent hints at 'iWallet'
A new patent awarded to Apple Inc. suggests an iWallet or mobile payment system for the iPhone or Apple's other mobile devices.
Dubbed "Parental controls," the patent lists the inventors as Brandon Casey, Gary Wipfler, and Erik Cressall, all of Apple Inc.
"Various techniques are provided for establishing financial transaction rules to control one or more subsidiary financial accounts. In one embodiment, a financial account management application stored on a processor-based device may provide an interface for defining financial transaction rules to be applied to a subsidiary account. 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," read the abstract on the US Patent and Trademark Office website.
Under the patent, "transactions made using the subsidiary account by a subsidiary account holder may be evaluated against the defined rules, wherein an appropriate control action is carried out if a financial transaction rule is violated."
A separate article on tech site Mashable said the patent suggests the product would be more than just preventing children from paying for R-rated movies.
"If launched, Apple’s main competition in the mobile payment space would be Google’s new Google Wallet and the recently launched Isis," it said.
Mashable said the system potentially allows parents to control how much their child is able to spend, where those purchases can take place and what types of transactions will be allowed.
"Images from the patent suggest that a parent will be notified if their child is trying to make a purchase at a Best Buy or if they’re trying to purchase alcohol or tobacco — both things you can’t currently do on the iPhone," it added.
Mashable said the patent also hints that Apple may be integrating some sort of mobile payment solution that can be used outside of its own ecosystem in the future.
Mashable also indicated the possibility of future iPhones with Near Field Communications (NFC) capabilities.
It noted Apple's patent came as mobile payments are starting to gain steam in the United States.
"While Apple has a history of filing for technology patents it never implements, the patent filing is one of many iWallet-style patents the company has filed. The patents indicate an iPhone mobile payment option may in fact be on the way," it said. — TJD, GMA News
Talk of the web