The Apple iWallet: Why the iPhone 5 Killer Feature is Mobile Payments

On March 6, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent for a new technology called “iWallet,” which allows users to control their subsidiary financial accounts.

According to rumors, the company plans to inbuilt the new technology in iPhone 5. Photo: Panduka Senaka/ Flickr

The new technology is a digital platform that gives the user complete control over their subsidiary financial accounts directly on their iPhone, and also leverages Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology which allows to complete credit card transactions on the phone as well.

What is more, some other patents were granted to the company in relation to the iWallet technology, such as security measures aimed to keep financial information safe, and the app in iTunes that will house these features.

In all likelihood, this is Apple’s mobile payments solution intended for its next-generation iPhone, presumably called ‘iPhone 5,’ writes The International Business Times. Since 2010, Apple has filed a series of so-called ‘iWallet’ patents that deal with mobile device payments including NFC systems that are linked to credit and debit accounts.

The new rules would dictate how these transactions are made and by whom, thus allowing for tight control of finances for end users of the patented technology, says Apple Insider.

The patent summary claims: “A method, comprising: defining one or more rules using a handheld electronic device, wherein the one or more rules establish restrictions on transactions made using a financial account associated with an account holder other than the user of the handheld electronic device; and applying the one or more rules to the financial account.”

People may claim that they don’t need iWallet, but 10 years ago they also were absolutely sure that a mobile phone or a music player is not necessary a well. Anyway, today people can’t live without any of these modern electronic devices. Apple and Android have successfully killed the simple cell phone; now, it’s a race to see who can pack the most features into a device that can fit in your pocket.

Apple breaks down the iWallet like this: people use credit card transactions all the time, whether or not the cardholder is present. There’s a smaller chance of fraud when the cardholder is present, but unfortunately, the cardholder can’t be present all the time.

Apple’s solution, the iWallet, aims to provide real-time authorization for transactions where the cardholder is not present, or remote. However, unlike transactions over the Internet, Apple promises its service to be highly secure and reliable.

What is more, due to the iWallet the parent will be able control their child’s mobile transactions by setting predetermined limits that can then be transmitted to a designated financial institution that manages the subsidiary account.

Besides, the innovation will implement a system of limits based on transaction amounts, spending over a given period of time and location, among other variables, giving the primary account holder a great deal of flexibility in restricting a subsidiary account.

Although an iPhone was not specifically listed as the “handheld electronic device,” the handset would be able to offer the data connectivity, geo-location data and processing functionality Apple is looking for in order to implement the control system.

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