Intuit has been granted a patent that describes a method whereby Bitcoin payments can be processed by using text messages. The patent was filed to the U.S. Patent Office on June 13, 2014.
The application explained a system that would allow two users to complete their payments using their mobile phones. It would also include a “peer-to-peer virtual currency network” which would store the funds of both the users.
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 of a payee.
The patent listed various ways to complete a transaction upon receiving a request for processing a payment. In the first option, an unanswered voice call will be used to verify the mobile phone. In the second option, a password will be used to access the user account. Once the data is verified, the system will check whether the payer has enough funds to complete the payment. In case, the payee doesn’t have a virtual account, the system will create one and then transfer the funds. In the end, the payee will be notified with a text message.
Intuit also launched the Bitcoin Quickbooks PayByCoin service in partnership with BitPay in 2014. The sample images shown in the recent patent also use BitPay user accounts to demonstrate BTC transactions. Apart from cryptocurrencies, Intuit has also focused on blockchain technology by hosting an Innovation Lab in San Fransisco in order to explore its various uses.
Last month, MasterCard won a patent which described a method to store both cash and cryptocurrencies in one account. The patent, which was filed in June 2016, failed to provide further details. Seth Eisen, Senior VP for Communications at MasterCard, explained that patents were meant to protect “the company’s intellectual property”, even if the systems are not implemented in the future.
Earlier this year, The Bitcoin Patent Report published a list of the top 10 companies that had filed majority of the Bitcoin patents. Bank of America secured first place with 45 patents filed within 5 years. Ali Baba and IBM were fourth and fifth in the list, with 36 and 34 patents filed by each company. MasterCard filed 21 patents, dropping it to the eighth position. Considering the number of patents MasterCard has won this year, it won’t be a surprise if it secures a position in the top 5 companies in 2019.