Plans afoot to take Bitcoin payments via text message

Intuit has just been granted a payment that brings text message Bitcoin payments a stride closer…

A new patent that’s just been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office has opened the possibility of Bitcoin transactions being conducted via text message.

The patent was granted to Intuit, the software company behind the likes of QuickBooks and TurboTax. The abstract description for its idea reads thus:

The method includes receiving, by a payment service, a payment text message comprising a payment amount and an identifier of a payee mobile device, validating the payment text message based on a payer balance of a virtual payer account maintained by the payment service for the payer, creating, by the payment service and in response to the payment text message, a virtual payee account based on the identifier of the payee mobile device, transferring, in response to creating the virtual payee account, the payment amount from the virtual payer account to the virtual payee account, and sending, by the payment service to the payee mobile device, a notification text message to notify the payee regarding a payee balance of the virtual payee account, wherein the payee balance is determined based at least on the payment amount.

It reads a little clearer in the summary, where one way of validating said text message is explained as:

The method includes receiving, by a payment service from a mobile device of a user, a text message comprising an identifier of the mobile device and a request to perform a financial transaction associated with the payment, receiving, by the payment service from the mobile device, an unanswered voice call within a pre-determined time period subsequent to receiving the text message, validating the text message by matching the unanswered voice call to the identifier of the mobile device that is extracted from the text message, and performing, by the payment service and in response to the validating, the financial transaction to process the payment”.

Patent application writers are clearly paid by the word.

The patent has been granted, though, although it remains to be seen what timescale Intuit is working to, in order to integrate and start offering such a service. That said, it’s a company that’s been working with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin ideas for years, and will likely already have a few ideas in place.

The full patent can be read here.

Image: BigStock