Apple New Patent Combines NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for Mobile Payments

Apple-patent-NFC-Bluetooth-WiFi-rfid-blogApple has published a new patent which uses a secure element in a mobile phone to store cardholders’ data, NFC to initiate a transaction and Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to complete the processing of a transaction and return coupons and other information to the customer’s device.

In US patent number 20140019367, “Method to send payment data through various air interfaces without compromising user data”, Apple sets out a system that uses a secure element to store payment card data. This data could then be sent directly from the secure element to the merchant’s POS terminal via NFC in the usual way or, alternatively, NFC could be used only to initiate a transaction.

In this case, once an initial link-up had been established via NFC, payment card data would be sent from the secure element to the application processor and then on to the POS terminal, via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, in an encrypted format, since, as Apple explains, “the confidentiality of data sent to the application processor may be compromised, e.g. by a rogue application.”

The system could also be used to make online purchases, Apple adds, as well as in an offline retail environment.