Apple building e-commerce system based on your credit card balance

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Apple has filed a patent for technology that would hook directly into the contents of customer bank accounts to make advertising even more targeted than it is today. It would mean Apple would only display ads for products that customers can afford.

The patent filing describes a system that would show dsfor products to groups of people with a common profile, “based on the amount of pre-paid credit available to each user.”

In short, Apple would look at the balance of your bank accounts and then show you different products based on your current financial situation. The filing continues to state that this would be advantageous because only advertisements for goods and services which the users could actually afford would be displayed.

Advertisers could harness such tech to only target certain goods to certain customers. This targeting would overcome the challenge of knowing which product is right for which customer.

How does it work? As media reports describe it, the patented system “sits on your phone, tracks the status of your credit or debit cards, sees what the balance on them is, and then targets ads at you based on what you can actually afford.”

As advertisements become ever more targeted to specific users, some may be concerned about the implications of Apple looking at your bank account to more effectively persuade you to eventually empty it. The company is clear that all users would have to opt-in to the system though and it seems probable that a mechanism similar to that of Apple Pay would be used to ensure that neither Apple or the advertisers ever get to see or store card numbers or personal credentials.

It’s unknown whether the contents of this intriguing filing will ever make their way into an Apple product. As with all companies, the existence of a patent does not mean that Apple is actively working on building its contents.

It should be noted  Apple is the owner of the largest collection of credit card numbers on the planet, approaching 1 billion accounts in 2014.

Original report via Digital Journal, by James Walker. Reprinted with permission.

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