M-payment: Apple Granted Patent for Subsidiary Accounts Monitoring System
Apple has been granted a patent for a control system allowing primary users to create several accounts in a single mobile wallet: the iWallet to be launched end 2012.
Patent application was filed in January 2009. Parents should be able to let their children use their Smartphone to make payments while monitoring their expenses in real-time. The app may also apply to business needs: follow-up of professional expenses by employers for instance.
The main account holder notifies his preferences: individually approving each transaction, defining rules based on the kinds of transactions, their amounts, on an average limit, validity period, payments geolocation, types of merchants, etc. These criteria can be configured using a Mac. If the subsidiary account holder fails to respect one of the preset rules, several possibilities are offered: systematic payment denial, notification sent to the main account older, request for authorisation, etc.
The transactions history will directly be transmitted by the bank to the main account holder’s iTunes account.
This same patent relies on NFC technology and also refers to card payments (including loyalty cards), thus paving the way towards possible new NFC specifications by Apple: the manufacturer has indeed applied for several NFC-based patents.
Apple’s vision of the NFC is growing clearer: until recently, the giant
was not communicating on this issue: this patent confirms that studies
are in process to design an NFC-enabled m-wallet to be configured
according to strict scalable criteria. The future solution is intended
for both individual and corporate customers; it incorporates high-end
finance management tools (especially popular in professional management
NFC technologies will obviously be part of Apple’s next initiatives and
the manufacturer may soon be proposing adapted terminals. This evolution
could however hinder the development of various companies specialising
in adding NFC features on Apple products –via stickers or other
especially designed cases.
On the m-wallet market, the manufacturer and integrator would benefit
from more independence than some of its rivals as the latter usually
have to rely on partnerships or have to acquire industry specialists to
provide for the development of their own mobile solutions.