Apple's latest iWallet patent suggests NFC is coming to an iPhone near you soon

Latest patent describes how Apple might manage your transactions

The US 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.

With an iWallet feature on the iPhone, Apple would join the NFC party. NFC stands for 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. A number of NFC-equipped Android phones can act as an e-wallet, paying for goods with a swipe of your handset.

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. (Chances are your bank card offers this feature).

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.

Follow Karen Haslam on Twitter / Follow MacworldUK on Twitter


Apple: The Next Generation - what we'd like to see in the iPhone mini, iPad 5, iWatch, iOS 7 and more

iPhone 6 release date, rumours and leaked images

iPhone 6 rumours: Fingerprint sensor, NFC e-wallet set to feature in new iPhone

Apple customers less confident about data security, claims survey

How wireless charging can drive near-field communications growth

Apple 'E-wallet' iPhone patent describes spending limits

A short history of NFC

Despite Apple, NFC is catching on -- just not for payments quite yet

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleconsumer electronicssmartphoneshardware systemsiPhonetabletsiPad

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Karen Haslam

Macworld U.K.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?