Apple was recently granted a major patent that deals with the rules and methods of electronic payment transactions along with detailed descriptions of how future devices could implement the parameters to help seamlessly incorporate the credit card system with an iTunes backend. The patent is titled “Parental Controls” and essentially establishes a set of guidelines which provides the option to look over how users complete mobile electronic transactions and tightens security for device owners who have multiple accounts linked to a product or set of products.
Apple filed a series of “iWallet” patents in 2010 that deal with mobile device payments including NFC systems that are linked to credit and debit accounts. The new rules would dictate how these transactions are made and who they made by, allowing for tight control of finances for end users of the patented technology. The patent summary gives us the following information:
A method, comprising: defining one or more rules using a handheld electronic device, wherein the one or more rules establish restrictions on transactions made using a financial account associated with an account holder other than the user of the handheld electronic device; and applying the one or more rules to the financial account.
The definition of primary and subsidiary account holders is integral to the patent. With this specific model, parents would be given the option to control their child’s mobile transactions by setting predetermined limits that can be transmitted to a designated financial institution that would be managing the subsidiary account. Limits can be based on the amount of transactions, spending over a given period of time and location, along with a variety of other variables. The iPhone isn’t specifically listed as the “handheld electronic device” in the patent but it would be able to offer the data connectivity, geo-location data, and processing functionality that Apple is looking for in order to implement the control system.
The feature is going to be a very welcomed for many parents whose children have iOS devices and also for families with family-shared iOS devices.
Source: Patently Apple