As reported by American Banker: “The (apple mobile payment) patent, which has been in the works for some time, covers a method to allow an embedded NFC chip to be used to execute mobile payments when an iPhone user pays at a point of sale terminal. The patented technology allows card companies to send information to a user’s iTunes account for NFC-enabled iPhone purchases. The patent also covers management of payments by secondary account holders, such as family members or employees of a business. The patent application includes rules regarding how these payments will be managed and executed, such as limits, product restrictions and geographic parameters. Also, the patent filing describes how users would view statements and receive alerts when spending is about to exceed a pre-determined limit.”
It sounds to me as if Apple has learned from customer feedback and the corporate purchasing card that has excellent controls, permissions, alerts and reporting. The typical corporate purchasing card let companies control who (employees) can purchase what goods or services, where they can make purchases and also cap the “spend” limit meaning: predetermine how much an employee can spend using the card to make purchases overall or cap purchase amounts by type or location.
Clearly this is big news for the mobile payment and wallet arena and long anticipated. Just how it plays out remains to be seen. Apple has unmistakable advantages in the payment space with its large revenue generating iTunes and physical stores – which could be a great way to test iPhone mobile payments. Its reputation for delivering elegant products and services is undeniable. How card issuers, FI’s, teleco’s, merchants and alliances such as ISIS will react will only be known in the future. Will card issues agree to let Apple to be the conduit to provide the statements associated with iPhone initiated payments as its patent suggest?
Just when you settled back with your popcorn and soda to watch the ever-changing mobile payment and wallet competitors duke it out, the movie changes and becomes a lot more crowded with a very influential actor.
Apple commands respect and is able to disrupt any market it chooses to enter. This is a serious event, for sure. Yet, Android based phones command a larger market share (48.6%) than Apple (29.5%). The fact that Android based phones are in the hands of many more consumers than Apple is a serious data point.
Peter Wannemacher, an analyst for Forrester Research, summed up Apple’s patent award and the mobile market place well by saying that the battle to control ownership of the consumer data tied to the mobile wallet is still far from over. Wannemacher went on to say: “I would stress a truism: if you are focused exclusively on the NFC aspect of mobile payments, you are missing the point. NFC technology will likely be a key piece of the puzzle, but the more powerful question is how the payment itself will be made and settled, and where the consumers’ information will live.
Will it be stored within the phone itself?
Will it be branded by a bank or firm but hosted by a vendor?
Will it live within the mobile banking app or mobile website on the phone?”
Another good post on Mobile Commerce Daily: Apple’s mobile payments aspirations come into focus with patent award
So I guess I will go get some more popcorn, adjust the picture to an even wider screen that reflects this latest mobile payment announcement and continue to closely follow and learn as the messy and uncertain mobile payment space continues to unfold.