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  • Google Patents SMS Payment System

    A new patent application published by Google gives a unique insight into a possible mobile version of Google Checkout.

    The Text Message Payment patent, filed on February 28th 2006, details how text messages could be used to pay for goods from vending machines and retailers as well as secure methods for validating larger payment amounts.

    With Google widely tipped to launch a mobile phone later this year a payment system would be a logical extra item to make the Google Phone stand out amongst its competitors. Certainly Google would like to have at least one “killer application” before it tried to break the mobile market and a payment system would seem a good solution.

    The abstract discusses a “computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic on-line payment” while the patent talks about how the system will work and why it is useful:

    The payment process may occur through the simple composition by the payor of a text message that includes identifying information for the payee and an amount of the payment. The message may then be sent to a payment processing system, which may debit an account of the payor (i.e., reduce it in value), credit an account of the payee (i.e., increase it in value, such as monetary value), and notify either or both of the payor or the payee that the money has been transferred.

    The inventions described here may provide one or more of the following advantages. Users of mobile devices may be provided with a convenient method of making payments, including when they are far from home, a banking institution, or a cash machine. Users may make micropayments without the overhead of other payment systems. Person-to-person commerce may be aided, so as to permit electronic transactions instead of cash transactions. As a result, users may be able to make transactions without the need to plan ahead and carry cash with them. Tracking and reporting of transactions may also occur, so that users can more easily summarize activity in their financial accounts without extensive manual bookkeeping operations. Transactions may occur that would not otherwise be trustworthy or safe using cash.

    Via SEO by the Sea


    15 Responses to “Google Patents SMS Payment System”

    1. felix says:

      This is pretty interesting! I’m still skeptical about it being the killer app. A system like this needs a huge user base to take off (since the vendors will all need to support this and they won’t until a ton of people want to use it) and something that is stuck only on the GPhone simply won’t get that size userbase. They’d need this to work on every phone there is.

    2. Larry Chiang says:

      I love that GPay could be a visa/mc killer but there’s another component necessary (credit card banking) to the two apps that don’t have traction: GPay and GPhone.

      stat: over a quarter of transcations turns into a balance that isn’t paid at the end of the month. Most balances are over 15%.

      I see this an a bipolar google baby of non-traction. Add on the third, credit card banking, and you will be evil.

    3. Anonymous says:

      It seems more like a profane copy of the mobile payment services that are available Estonia for several years now.
      What else is new, Google is unable to come up with the ideas of their own so stealing is in order?

    4. Anonymous says:

      KushCash and obopay already has been doing this. This is another quiet google startup killer.

    5. Anonymous says:

      The same system operational i croatia since 2001/2002. so much about innovation :)

    6. lime says:

      I suppose the problem with vending machines is the fact that they have to be connected to the mobile network which makes them cost much more…plus whose going to bear this cost…also the carrier will definitely be asking for some % for each payment coz ur using their infrastructure…..but it does in a way make sense for things like parking meters…

    7. Anonymous says:

      What puzzles me is how can they apply for a patent when there is so much prior art as evidenced by similar implementations around the world.

    8. Anonymous says:

      I was just at the Cartes show in Paris and saw a smart-card for a mobile phone. That seemed like a more secure and trusted form of payment, than an SMS.

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    10. adana oto kiralama says:


      thanks ;)

    11. Many solutions like this exist already.
      Google should focus on building an API / buy button that connects with existing services,
      rather than trying to re-invent the wheel. Essentially a Google checkout for mobile.

    12. Eko SW says:

      The core is the API. So it feels blur with the existing infrastructure

    13. Going2Oahu says:

      Very strange how Google takes off with an idea that has been in existence for years!

    14. freelgarena says:

      Great blog found this via twitter im just adding to my blog now.

    15. mobilephone says:

      just seen this on twitter cheers for the info.

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