Apple patent involves wireless point-of-sale transactions

Apple has been granted a patent (number 9,235,861) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a “system and method for managing wireless point-of-sale transactions.” It involves Apple Pay, the company’s mobile payment service.

The system involves an account module, an account selection module, a display, an input interface, and a wireless transmitter. The account module stores account information corresponding to a plurality of payment accounts. The account selection module selects a payment account from the array of payment accounts as a default payment account for a wireless point-of-sale transaction based on one or more predetermined criteria. 

The display displays the default payment account to the user. The input interface lets you accept the default payment account by the account selection module. The wireless transmitter that wirelessly transmits payment information to a point-of-sale device. The payment information comprises account information associated with the default account when the default payment account is accepted via the input interface.

The use of wireless technologies, such as "smart card" technology to make wireless payments at brick-and-mortar retail locations is generally known. However, typically payment cards that use these technologies are only a wireless substitute for cards implementing older account identification methods, such as magnetic strips, or carbon copying. 

Conventional smart cards are passive components that do not enable active management of multiple accounts by a user. Apple wants to eliminate “these and other drawbacks associated with known wireless point-of-sale payment systems.”