Patent shows how Apple Pay could automatically select a card based on the user’s location

Patent diagram showing how Apple Pay could auto select a card based on user location
US PATENT: The proposed system could work with terminals using NFC, RFID or UWB technology

Apple Pay users could be able to make contactless payments and other transactions with merchants or transit providers without having to manually select the correct payment, rewards or transit card or other digital credential from within their mobile wallet.

Technology that would enable Apple Pay to automatically choose the stored card or credential most appropriate for a particular contactless transaction at a terminal close to a user’s location is described in a patent filed by Apple and recently granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Location-based credential selection for wireless transactions describes “a method for selecting a credential from a plurality of credentials stored on an electronic device”. It says that the system could operate with stationary or mobile merchant terminals and with transit gate terminals using NFC, RFID or ultra wideband (UWB) technology.

“In essence, the patent suggests that a device like an iPhone could automatically present the correct credential or payment type for a nearby terminal,” according to Appleinsider.

“It does so by detecting a nearby terminal using radio technologies, such as ultra wideband, to determine relative distance and to confirm the type of terminal being used.

“The selection could be made based on the specific type of terminal being used, such as one used by transit authorities for train payments, which could trigger a regional transit pass to be used for fast-tracking purposes. A terminal in a supermarket may automatically trigger the use of a rewards card.

“It could even be feasible for such a system to allow specific payment cards to be used in certain stores. For example, a credit card that provides bonuses for purchases from one retailer could be favoured for such a transaction over others.

“While this could be automatic, Apple includes the possibility for the system to alert the user to the type of card, pass, or other credential being used, to prompt a confirmation for a transaction to take place, or to authenticate the user for a payment.”

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