The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 56 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. One of the key patents that were found within this group relates to Apple's future iWallet. It's a patent that happened to sneak through the patent application process in 2009 by not being listed as an Apple assigned patent. This newly granted patent reveals Apple's virtual equivalent of a credit card swipe on an iDevice GUI. The iWallet is going to be a major iPhone application in the future and it's one that Apple is meticulously designing. The iWallet could very well end up being one of the most important apps of the decade.
Apple Granted iWallet Related Patent for a Motion based Payment Confirmation System
Apple has received a Granted Patent that relates to electronic devices, and, more particularly to graphical user interfaces configured to receive motion based inputs for confirming a payment transaction.
Apple's patent background states that payment transactions increasingly occur without the use of physical payment objects such as credit cards or cash. For example, online purchases may be made using credit card information stored in an online account maintained by a merchant or by a payment service such as PayPal. Further, financial account information may be stored on electronic devices and transferred using contactless means, such as near field communication (NFC), radio-frequency identification (RFID), or networking, to complete payment transactions.
The increased use of electronic and/or contactless payments may allow payment transactions to occur at a fast pace without the need for payment objects. However, due to the speed and virtual nature of modern payment transactions, consumers may not fully appreciate the consequences of authorizing a payment transaction or may inadvertently authorize a payment transaction.
Apple Introduces the Virtual Equivalent of a Credit Card Swipe
Apple's invention generally relates to techniques for confirming a payment transaction. In accordance with one disclosed embodiment, an electronic device may include a graphical user interface (GUI) with one or more graphical elements that may be moved by a user to confirm or decline a payment transaction. The graphical elements may be configured to virtually represent a swipe of a credit card. For example, in one embodiment, the GUI may display a two position slide bar that may be moved in one direction to confirm the payment transaction and in another direction to decline the payment transaction. In accordance with another embodiment, the GUI may display an image of a credit card that may be moved towards an image of a credit card terminal to confirm the payment transaction.
In certain embodiments, the graphical elements for confirming a payment transaction may be displayed in response to selection of a payment instrument through a touch screen of an electronic device. For example, credit cards may be digitally represented within an electronic wallet or an online payment system. After movement of the graphical elements, the electronic device may transmit a confirmation message to initiate payment with the selected payment instrument. The movable graphical elements may be used to confirm payment transactions in a wide variety of environments such as peer-to-peer transactions, online shopping transactions, and purchases made within brick and mortar stores.
According to Apple, the electronic wallet or payment service may store financial account information for payment instruments, such as credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid or gift cards, checking accounts, and/or savings accounts, that may be presented to a user through the electronic device upon accessing the electronic wallet or payment service.
The iWallet could work with NFC, a bar code or camera to finalize a payment. The timing of integrating NFC or any other equivalent into the iPhone is unknown at this time.
Apple credits Brandon Casey, Gary Wipfler and Erik Cressall as the inventors of this granted patent which was originally filed in Q1 2009 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office. To review more of Apple's iWallet patents, check out our iWallet Archives.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Check out Patent Bolt's Latest Report Titled: