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June 11, 2014

Sequent's New Patent May Bring Wallets to More Apps

The mobile wallet is a concept that most can get behind. Sure, some are concerned about the idea of using a mobile device to pay for things, and the technology hasn't exactly reached just everywhere as yet. But a new patent from Sequent Software may move the wallet technology to many more places than previously expected, like just about any app out there.

Sequent announced that it had received a patent—patent number 8,745,716 at last report—for a specific method of controlling the use of secure credentials like credit and debit card systems stored on mobile devices. Additionally, the patent is said to reflect the ability to allow mobile apps to access such secure credentials and put same to use, essentially allowing nearly any app to add a wallet component to its operations and allow the app to make transactions with the piece of secure credential in question. The patent notes Sequent Software's ability to manage security for these credentials, and can in turn manage permissions via secure payment, as well as by other means like near-field communications (NFC), host card emulation (HCE) and even barcode technology, among others.

Sequent's CTO, David Brudnicki, offered up some commentary on the release, saying “Sequent’s approach gives banks and other card issuers control and flexibility in the deployment of their mobile payment services and ensures their ability to scale their credentials into partner apps in the future. It also gives mobile operators, banks, merchants and other app owners an easy path to enable their apps with payments, transit, and access control cards without the complexity of interfacing with TSMs, hardware security, or secure credentials.”

Basically, this patent opens up some substantial new ideas for apps. With reports from Yankee Group senior mobile payments analyst Jordan McKee suggesting that 66 percent of consumers have an interest in making transactions via a mobile device, Sequent's patent could open up the floodgates on a new line of business that had been heretofore unrealized. It becomes possible for apps to offer a complete payment system, which can be useful for in-app purchases, but it also opens things up wider to things like banks and mobile operators to offer a new value-added service, a complete wallet system that can be used to more readily make payments for things. Even individual merchants can offer up such a platform, leading to the possibility that, one day, businesses could process payments without the need for a third party, offering up a mobile wallet system that was good for that store or franchise.

There are certainly plenty of possibilities on hand from a system like this, though since it was only recently patented, it will likely take some time to see just how far it goes in the end. Still, we could be looking at a new era for mobile payments, not just in stores, but directly within apps. That could mean some very different approaches to marketing and to operations, so it should prove a development to watch in the meantime.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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