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Apple e-commerce platform based on your credit card balance

Who said payments wasn’t sexy? Just weeks after applying for a new P2P payments patent and the launch of Apple Pay in the UK, it is rumoured that Apple has filed yet another payments related patent.

For a company whose CEO has repeatedly asserted that it is not interested in selling its

Apple Patent

Apple schematic for the new credit card-targeting system

customer data to advertisers, Apple is putting a lot of effort into developing new products that sell customer data to advertisers.

In this patent, Apple proposes a new e-commerce system that uses a mobile phone to deliver targeted ads to users based on what they can actually afford. This new patent comes on the heels of another recent in-development project for creating and tracking ads — and the Apple users who look at them — based on social media content that goes viral – according to Business Insider.

Apple describes its new ad format as having one key improvement over regular mobile advertising:

  • An advantage of such targeted advertising is that only advertisements for goods and services which particular users can afford, are delivered to these users.

Broken down simply, the system sits on your phone, tracks the status of your credit or debit cards, sees what the balance on them is, and then targets ads at you based on what you can actually afford. This is a genuinely innovative marketing idea, as ads today are currently targeted at you based on what advertisers would like you to buy — not what you’re actually able to buy. Here is the key language:

  • [T]he delivery element is arranged such that the content item [ad] delivered to the user includes only one or more objects having a purchase price less than or equal to the available credit for that user.
  • … An advantage of such targeted advertising is that advertisements for goods and services which particular users cannot afford, are not delivered to these users.
  • … This would be appropriate when presenting, for example, items offered by an on-line shop which can be ordered immediately. The items that the user can currently afford, i.e., they have available credit in an amount greater than the purchase price of each item, may be marked with a marker while those the user cannot afford would not be so marked. Alternatively, … [the new system could arrange products on your screen] such that affordable items are shown on one side of the mobile terminal’s display screen, e.g., at a top of the screen, and others are shown on the opposite side, e.g., at a bottom of the screen.

Further, the system proposes a billing/payment system for people who respond to the ads, “subsidized or free telephone services to the users” who agree to be targeted with such ads, and a delivery method so users can click to buy and receive goods either digitally on their phones or physically at home. The system even proposes building in a percentage margin so that goods are only advertised if they are within 90% of a consumers’ balance, leaving 10% on the card.

 

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