Apple patent hints towards lines of credit for mobile payments

With Apple holding its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) this past week, many waited for an announcement on the heavily

With Apple holding its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) this past week, many waited for an announcement on the heavily rumored mobile payment platform Apple is supposedly gearing up to release.

No announcement was made at the event, but that has not stopped other news outlets from sifting through Apple’s recent patents to get a hint of what is in store for iDevices and mobile payments. The most recent finding shows a patent for a proposed “integrated financing and property transfer management platform.”

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According to the title and patent explanation, the filing shows a shift to banking and credit solutions rather than traditional mobile wallet and payment services. What was thought to be a service targeting Google Wallet and MasterPass may be more in tune with online payment alternatives such as Dwolla Credit, Sina, and Mobicred.

“A loan obtained through the FSI engine can resemble a personal line of credit and thus can be used as cash, thereby eliminating the need for incurring transaction costs such as authorization fees, interchange fees, settlement fees that are associated with credit card purchases. Likewise, the cost of setting up FSI engine compatibility can be much less than the setup cost for a similarly-featured online credit card checkout tool.” Stated Apple’s patent.

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The loan oriented nature of the service shows similarities with PayPal’s Bill Me Later and Dwolla Credit. However, whereas Dwolla offers its users a line of credit, Bill Me Later provides its users with “Micro-Loans” that need to be paid off either by check, credit card or PayPal.

We know Apple plans on integrating its touch ID scanner to authenticate payments, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook. This past WWDC did announce third party support for the fingerprint scanner, putting Apple’s iPhone on par with main competitor, Samsung’s Galaxy S5 which offers PayPal and eBay support for its touch ID peripheral at launch, with more companies developing ID secured payments to be used with the platform. Apple also recently released, in cooperation with mobile payment solution provider Isis, a newly designed payment console which relies on NFC.

With the patent filings, rumors, and announcements at WWDC it is possible to flesh out a speculated payment structure. With the newly released Isis console, the next crop of mobile phones from Apple will most likely use NFC based technology with the ID scanner to authenticate the payment. However, we will have to wait for the launch of the service to get a better understanding on how the payments themselves will be processed.


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