Slideshow 7 Apple Payment Patents, Past and Present

  • June 07 2013, 12:15pm EDT
8 Images Total

(Image: Bloomberg News)

Eye on Rewards

Apple's most recent payment patent application describes a system for crediting users' mobile wallets for certain activities, such as watching ads. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Card Swipe

A "card swipe" patent published last year describes plans for a virtual payment card. Instead of swiping a card at the register, consumers using this technology would swipe a finger on the phone screen to authorize a mobile payment. (Image: Bloomberg News)


Apple published a patent last year detailing its plans for Near Field Communication, a wireless technology found in some Android phones but not in any Apple handsets. The patent covers how NFC can be used to make contactless payments at the point of sale. (Image: ThinkStock)


The so-called iTravel patent, revealed last year, describes a way to use wireless Near Field Communication technology to buy airline tickets and check in for flights. The idea may have eventually become Passbook, an app that supports many of those functions without relying on NFC. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Coverage Problem

Perhaps still feeling the sting from the "Antennagate" issues that prompted it to distribute "bumpers" for the prior year's iPhone 4, Apple in 2011 revealed a patent application covering ways to pay for and receive digital goods in the absence of a stable connection to the Internet or a payments system. (Image: Bloomberg News)

In-Store Payments

Apple also has a patent, published in 2011, for pairing any mobile device with any payment terminal in a store. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Composing an Idea

A patent application from 2007, the year the first iPhone launched, describes a system for purchasing items at a retailer with a wireless device. At the time, Apple had a deal with Starbucks to let iPhone and iPod owners download the song they heard playing in the coffee company's stores. (Image: Bloomberg News)