Apple, Facebook eye control of digital payments IP in India

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Apple has submitted at least five applications with the Indian Patent office over the past one year for innovations related to digital payments as it looks at services as a way to boost sales of its iPhones in India.

Last week, social networking giant Facebook made a patent application for a digital wallet baked into an instant messaging services — Messenger and WhatsApp presumably. The influx of patent applications comes at a time when India is pushing for electronic payments as a tool to bring in more people into formal economy and increase its tax base.

Apple’s patent applications range from innovations around using biometrics to authenticate payments to securely transferring payment to a device such as a point of sale device. The move points at the company preparing to bring its Apple Pay service to India, following rivals Samsung and Google which have also begun working on the same.

Apple Pay is the company’s proprietary system for making payments using Apple devices in stores, within apps and even on the web. In the US, Apple Pay works with all major credit and debit card providers, where a user’s phone can save the card details securely and use it instead of having to carry the physical card. Both firms did not offer comment.

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