Apple is working on its own mobile P2P payment service for iPhone and iPad

Mobile micropayments through your smartphone is emerging, and, most likely, soon to become pretty hot category.

Nokia is looking  how to introduce mobile payments to developing world with its Money service. Meanwhile, startups like Square and established companies like VeriFone are working on ways to bring personal mobile transactions to your iPhone, and, hopefully, any other smartphone you have in your pocket.

Well, those companies planning to make a living from their personal mobile payment iPhone app/accessory/service, better start thinking about other mobile platforms soon. Because Apple is actively eyeing personal mobile payments, as a market they want to have for themselves.

At least that’s what an Apple’s patent application called “Peer to peer financial transaction devices and methods”  indicates.

It describes an iPhone app and service, that will allow iPhone owners to store all their credit card, bank/checking account and other info  on the device, and to make quick personal and business transactions with a few taps.

The payments can be made by linking NFC enabled iPhones, or using the handset camera and some clever image recognition techniques.

There’s even an interesting usage case  for paying group bills, e.g. for a dinner at a restaurant, described.

It includes one person from a group getting a bill on his iPhone, forming an ad-hoc network with the iPhones of other friends at the table, with each person selecting and paying his due via the first  handset.

Well,  it’s only a patent application for now. But, with the iTunes store  Apple is already knee-deep in a small payment processing business. Extending that service to process personal payments of iPhone  owners, seems like the next  logical step for Apple.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • transfs

    An easy and free way to accept credit cards using the iPhone as a terminal is to download the TransFS Credit Card Terminal iPhone App.

    You're not locked into a processor (like the ones mentioned in the article) but can choose whichever is most cost effective.

    The app is open source, feel free to download it