iPhone users could soon be paying for coffees via their smartphones following news Apple has issued a patent application for an e-wallet system.
Published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week, the application is entitled "Method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data”, suggesting Cupertino is ready to commit to the mobile payments market.
In a bid to address previous concerns regarding user security, the tech giant hopes two separate forms of secure links for smartphones will help keep the application watertight.
“In one or more embodiments, a portable device can make purchases by using near field communications (NFC) to establish a secure link with a point of sale (POS) device connected to a backend system that is configured to execute commercial transactions,” the patent application reads.
“This secure link can be established by positioning the portable device to be within close proximity of the point of sale device.
“Increased mobility is provided to users of the portable device making purchases by establishing a second secure link that uses a different protocol, such as WIFI or Bluetooth, that has more desirable characteristics for maintaining the link over time than NFC.”
Of course applying for a patent application doesn’t necessarily mean the product will make it into the public domain, and as usual with Cupertino, the company is keeping quiet on any such rumours.