Apple patent indicates iOS users could make peer-to-peer payments

Apple Pay may be less than a year old and unavailable in markets like Canada, but it looks like Apple already has plans for how it will make the platform more appealing to consumers.

In a patent a filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple describes a system that will allow mobile devices to transfer funds between two different people through WiFi, Bluetooth or NFC. Titled, “Person-to-Person Payments using Electronic Devices,” the patent was published yesterday, but is originally dated to September 30, 2014.

It looks like the platform will primarily operate on a proximity-based system; one part of the filing describes how a user can launch Passbook (remember this patent was filed before Apple renamed the app to Wallet at this year’s WWDC) to find nearby devices that are running the same software and can complete a transaction. The filing then goes on to describe how these transactions can be secured through multiple methods, including, but not limited to, Apple’s Touch ID framework.

Apple Patent

As with any patent application, there’s no indication of when this system might make its way onto a retail device, or, for that matter, whether it will actually be released at all. That said, given that Apple has been pushing Apple Pay fairly heavily, I think it’s fair to say we’ll see this make its way into iOS at some point.

[source]United States Patent and Trademark Office[/source][via]Let’s Talk Payments[/via]

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