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Apple patents person-to-person transactions

Apple has filed a new patent for technology which would allow people with Apple Pay to send money to one another.

Here's how Patently Apple describes it: “An individual using an electronic device may identify another proximate electronic device of a counterparty in a financial transaction, and may provide an encrypted payment packet to the other electronic device that includes: a financial credential for a financial account of the individual, a payment amount, and a payment sign.”

In other words, a person would send an encrypted “packet” to the receiver, including the payment amount, verification and payment “credential” which could represent the sender's credit card details.

In order to send money from one person to another, user first has to open the Wallet app, chose a credit card, and type in the amount he / she would like to pay. The system would also let the person paying pick the recipient from nearby iPhone users.

Apple is not re-inventing the wheel here, though. There are other person-to-person payment apps out there already, like Venmo and Square Cash. Facebook Messenger also allows people to send money to one another, and PayPal lets people pay both friends and merchants in stores.

However, Apple wants to completely take over your wallet, and eventually have you throw it away in favour of the digital device. We should also keep in mind that not all patents filed are actually used – some are just there to stop the competition from doing the same thing in the future.