Apple is working on an e-commerce system that selects the products it advertises based on the balance of your credit card. The IT juggernaut filed a patent in July which explained how the system would work, wrote Business Insider.
Now not all patents become products, but the line of thinking has parallels with Xero’s announcements at Xerocon. Xero is working with NAB and other banks to give business owners the option of sharing data in their cloud accounting file. In return businesses will receive immediate quotes on loans, insurance and foreign exchange rates.
A similar bartering approach is used in Apple’s patent. The 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,” Business Insider says.
Users that opt into the system get access to special offers such as free or discounted “telephone services”.
Similar network effects to cloud accounting software are at play. Although Apple is best known for its fancy hardware, it has collected the data of nearly 1 billion credit cards – more than any other company, including Amazon.
Business Insider excerpted the relevant bits from the patent describing how it works. (Bold by Business Insider.)
[T]he delivery element is arranged such that the content item [ad] delivered to the user includes only one or more objects having a purchase price less than or equal to the available credit for that user.
… An advantage of such targeted advertising is that advertisements for goods and services which particular users cannot afford, are not delivered to these users.
… This would be appropriate when presenting, for example, items offered by an on-line shop which can be ordered immediately. The items that the user can currently afford, i.e., they have available credit in an amount greater than the purchase price of each item, may be marked with a marker while those the user cannot afford would not be so marked. Alternatively, … [the new system could arrange products on your screen] such that affordable items are shown on one side of the mobile terminal’s display screen, e.g., at a top of the screen, and others are shown on the opposite side, e.g., at a bottom of the screen.
Image credit: Business Insider