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iPhone Looking More Likely to Become an iWallet

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There has been lots of talk about the iPhone becoming an iWallet for some time now but a European patent that surfaced last week and was revealed by Patently Apple yesterday takes the rumours to the next level.

Not only does the patent application detail how RFID circuitry and antenna would be ingenuously embedded within the touch sensor panel of an iPhone or iPod Touch, it also exposes how this has been in the works since the first iPhone dropped in 2007. The application of RFID technology within an iPhone or iPod Touch could be utilized for both read and tag applications, depending on the method employed (there are a few “embodiments” detailed in the patent).

This means that you could use your iPhone in the future to pay for any number of services using RFID and (as suggested by 9to5 Mac) if the functionality is tied to iTunes, Apple could see “the opportunity to take on PayPal.” Furthermore, if the application of both read and tag RFID is used, two iDevices could securely transfer funds, information, data and so forth.

But is this really a good idea? Are you willing to abandon your debit and credit cards and start paying for goods with your phone electronically tied to your financial accounts? As if debit card skimming, credit card forgery and identity theft weren’t scary enough, what potential threats could this yeild?

Personally, this concept in theory is excellent although I’d like to see how it matures and expect some reassuring security measures implemented.

[Patently Apple via 9to5 Mac]

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  • Rustybarnacle

    I’d be all up for it with proper security. I hate carrying my wallet. Put my drivers license in there too please.

  • AnonDude

    Can’t wait. Absolutely can not wait. Have been waiting for Apple to do this & do it right. Bring it on.

  • Anonymous

    Ditto VVVVVVVVVVV

  • There are some simple security things that can be done, like texting the phone for confirmation. In reality, security is not the card company’s problem, it’s the merchant’s, as they are liable for the misuse of cards.

    I believe that some Canadian companies are working on this.

  • Nick

    I like cash. Good old fashioned cash. And nothing will replace that for me… besides, when I do use Paypal, there’s already a great paypal app for iPhone. All you need to do is bump phones to securely transfer funds, what more do you need?

    Just think about it, when all money is on RFID, how are you going to buy weed? Or pay someone to do some casual labor for you without dealing with paperwork (and HST). The government would have a lot more easy control of all of our money if it was all electronic.

  • Rustybarnacle

    If someone would make a machine for the grocery store that I could bump to pay from paypal I would be all over that too. But right now I don’t pay with paypal unless its an online store.

  • I think this would work out well for transaction cards that require “recharging”, like a bus pass or subway pass. Just look to Asia and you’ll see how transit passes can also buy you goods at any retail store, like a 7-11. That would equal less security risks versus storing your banking/credit card info on the phone.

  • Wow. Horrible ideal. I hope this never happens.

  • Half_Pint

    This can’t be any worse than those stupid debit card chips that have effectively doubled how long it takes to check out. Bring it on.

  • Krishewlett

    Except, of course, when you’ve had a rushed day and go to get on the bus- only to find out it’s your iPhone that needs “recharging”

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