The Strategy Behind Apple’s Payments Patents Campaign

February 8, 2013

What’s really behind all these payments patents Apple is securing?

Apple has been among the most avid pursuers of payments patents in the nation:

  • In August 2012, Patently Apple described 56(!) new Apple patents, one of which introduced swiping the iOS device at point-of-sale using the iOS GUI. (Will we see people swiping iPads to pay for their coffees or will this be smartphone/iPod Touch-only?)
  • In December 2012, a patent for entering coupons into Passbook was unveiled, as was a barcode scanning patent.
  • On January 31, 2013, TechCrunch highlighted a new patent for a peer-to-peer cash-based lending network, possibly using iTunes (with 400 million users as of June 2012) to move the money between accounts.

Bank Innovation reported last week about a “wave to pay” patent Apple received this month.

Rick Oglesby, a senior analyst with Aite Group, maintains that Apple’s patent campaign relates primarily to user interaction during a payment process.

Apple is locking up methods that are consistent with the overall user experience when using an IOS device so that IOS payment experiences can be unique from other devices.

Apple has been showing interest in incorporating payment more robustly into their devices via a variety of patents filed, but they haven’t made any huge leaps towards incorporating it. I’d say that they are in ongoing product development, but it will probably still be a while before they incorporate one of these payment-centric patents into their final product.


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2 Responses to The Strategy Behind Apple’s Payments Patents Campaign

  1. Peter Vogel, CEO - Plink on February 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, it really looks as if Apple is preparing to take some large steps into becoming a serious player in the mobile wallet space.

    With iTunes, they already have between 200-400 million peoples’ credit cards on file, Passbook is already installed on everyone’s iPhones and they have patents to protect many of the processes they’re using.

    What’s next?

  2. [...] has made several feints toward becoming a full-fledged payments company in the past, and the signs keep piling [...]

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