Intuit, a US-based fintech company, has recently registered a patent for processing bitcoin payments via text messages.The patent was registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on August 7, 2018. The subject of the patent is a system of virtual accounts that allows two users to exchange funds using mobile phones.
Intuit’s relationship with crypto
Intuit filed the patent back in 2014. It followed the launch of its QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments service. To this end, the company partnered with BitPay to create a service for business clients to pay their invoices in BTC.
After the company that launch, Intuit continued developing integration of its services with Bitcoin. Most recently, they partnered with Veem, which is a payment provider, to enable cryptocurrency payments for its customers.
How it works
Intuit’s patent describes the procedure for transactions to take place, interaction between virtual accounts created for the purposes of running the system, and different ways of validating the transactions.
The 2018 patent reads: “The method includes receiving, by a payment service from a payer mobile device of a payer, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device.”
To validate the transaction, the service would use one of two methods described in the document.
One method would involve sending a message with “a password request associated with an account of the user.” Another method could use a voicemail message: the user would need to make “a voice phone call” that is “automatically disconnected by the payment service without answering.”
This voice call is necessary to confirm that the payment text is a valid payment request and not a “random message or spam message” sent by a malicious bot.
For several years now, using cellphones directly for crypto payments has been explored as a way to facilitate crypto adoption. It is considered to be the key to bringing financial inclusion to unbanked populations in countries where the lack of access to the Internet or expensive computers might limit people’s ability to transact.
A few electronics giants have recently released or announced the first smartphones with native crypto wallets.
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