Apple Pay could allow payments by text

A new feature that allows Apple Pay users to make payments simply by sending a text could be on its way.

Although the feature is not confirmed yet, Apple has filed a patent for it, which also includes other forms of payment. If the patent does become a reality, iPhone users will be able to send money via text, iMessage, phone call, email and even calendar invites, reports Apple would achieve this by adding a ‘make payment’ button to the text messages, which would appear at the top of the screen next to the sender’s name.

The texting option in particular could come in handy, as the Apple Pay button would appear alongside the message once it has been opened. According to the patent, the person making the payment will select how much they want to send and could choose to pay multiple people at the same time.

There’s no reason why this feature couldn’t work effectively for retailers too. Companies could send out marketing messages asking if someone who had just made a purchase online would like to upgrade their delivery option for a small fee in order to get their products faster, for example.

While several other companies, such as Facebook, currently offer a similar service through their messaging services, none so far have enabled users to send money via text message. It is likely the payment system will be built into the iPhone rather than be implemented through a separate application.

Apple, just like many other companies, files patents all the time, and not all of them become a reality. However, since Apple is looking to broaden Apple Pay, this one is far more likely than most to come to fruition. At the moment, the service allows people to pay at the checkout with their iPhone and make online payments, but little more beyond this.

Other reports seem to suggest that Apple has already been speaking with the banks needed to make text payments work – it has also been hiring for roles related to a similar project for some time (since November 2014).

Text marketing could be forever changed if this new service was built into the next iPhone, as it would make it incredibly easy to upsell customers or get them to make an order in advance. For example if a customer wanted to go out for a coffee or pick up a pizza, they could make and pay for their order via text before they leave the house. When they arrive, their food or drink would be waiting for them – now that’s service.

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