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April 9, 2013

Apple’s latest patent suggests NFC is coming to the iPhone


Over in the US, the  Patent & Trademark Office has published a new Apple patent application that details a new iWallet transaction patent.

The new patent describes a method for conducting a transaction, and Patently Apple suggests it means we may be a step closer to Apple debuting NFC technology on its iOS devices.


Photo from Patently Apple

Apple would join the NFC party, with an iWallet feature on the iPhone. NFC ( near-field communications), and is a set of short-range wireless standards that let mobile phones communicate with each other – or with other electronic devices, see our How To use NFC article. A number of NFC-equipped Android phones can act as an e-wallet, paying for goods with a swipe of your handset or, start an application.

Passbook – which offers a partial e-wallet experience already, providing quick access to tickets, boarding passes and loyalty cards – is Apple’s closest approximation of the idea currently, and could also be expanded to include NFC and mobile payments. (Most UK and European banks will be sending  out new cards that will offer this feature at your renewal date).

Patently Apple outlines that Apple’s newly patented ‘method for conducting a financial transaction’. It includes:

  • Taking a picture of a first code displayed on a transaction terminal using a camera of a portable electronic device;
  • Sending data from the portable electronic device to the transaction terminal to conduct the financial transaction with the transaction terminal using a near field communication channel or another wireless communication channel;

Patently Apple also rounds up a number of iWallet related patents, including some from 2010 that look at:

  • acquiring payment information on a handheld device; a method for conducting a group transaction having a plurality of group transaction members on a handheld electronic device;
  • a method for authorizing a payment in a peer-to-peer transaction; and a method of conducting a wireless transaction.

Via: PatentlyApple


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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini