01 October 2014

Apple files patent application for 'ad-hoc cash dispensing network'

31 January 2013  |  12704 views  |  13 Woman leaning on wall using smartphone

Apple has filed a US patent application for an "ad-hoc cash-dispensing network" which lets people who need cash but cannot find an ATM send out an SOS through their iPhone to find people nearby who are willing to lend them the money.

The patent application, spotted by unwiredview.com, describes a system where people who sign up and download an app can connect to an Apple server.

If a user needs to obtain cash, they can send out a request through their iPhone or iPad, providing details of how much they want to borrow and their location, via GPS.

The request is delivered to anyone in the same location who is signed up to the service and if a willing lender is found, a time and place to meet and hand over the cash is arranged.

Following the transfer of cash, the requesting user's account with Apple is charged for the service while the provider's is credited. A service fee, split between the lender and Apple, is also floated in the application.

Apple acknowledges that paper is giving way to electronic money but argues that "there are often situations where cash payments are necessary...Accordingly, there is a need for a cash-dispensing network that allows users to exchange cash as needed."

The application was filed in July 2011 but has only just appeared on the US Patent and Trademark Office site.

Comments: (13)

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 31 January, 2013, 15:15

"P2P cashback" concept is cute, but I am not sure the "I have cash" approach would work in the modern world - most payments at petrol stations in Brazil, for example, are via cards or vouchers as cash represents an easy target for criminals.

Especially considering that the payment industry (and the governments) are trying to get rid of cash - not without a reason.

A Finextra member | 31 January, 2013, 15:17

Is this not just a case of telling comsumers what they want, rather than consumers asking for what they would like/need.

Who would really want to sign up for such a thing? 

Are ATMs that sparse in America that this would be a viable option?

David Abbott - Fiserv - London | 31 January, 2013, 16:15

April fool?  right?.....

Having banged on about Mobile payments and the death of cash,  i bet Juniper never saw this one coming.... 

Apple working with the money lenders? will Jesus throw them out of the temple?

I dont think this will bother Samsung who are just getting on with making phones!  

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 31 January, 2013, 16:26

I think David has a point: sometimes I think Apple has a mid-life or identity crisis. That is not to say they don't have the potential to disrupt another industry or two...

David Abbott - Fiserv - London | 31 January, 2013, 16:45

Alex, the more i think of it the more wierd the concept sounds... 1. a great way to launder money...   set up an Apple money lender account for some minions and then take the cash earned from Drug dealing/theft etc and lend it via the minions - Apple debit nice people and Apply credit my account, i bank the money! 

On the other hand 2. its a good way to find someone carrying cash so that your heavy friends can mug them as they walk away from the transaction.... 

Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 31 January, 2013, 16:58


It's the latter I was referring too.

But ML scenarios sounds plausible too: surely there could be cash limits imposed (similar to how prepaid cards are regulated now etc), but still...

Peter Bove - Aviso - Killorglin | 01 February, 2013, 09:15

I don't think that I'll be signing up for a "Come mug me" app......

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 01 February, 2013, 18:42

With Passbook, Apple distanced itself from NFC. With this patent, it has further bet against mobile payments. In this day and age where bulk of terrorist funding, money laundering and other nefarious activities are happening over wire transfers, prepaid cards and other forms of electronic payments, it's naïve to continue to associate cash with crime. With retailers in 40 US states permitted to levy as much as 4% surcharge for credit card payments, cash could actually stage a comeback for transactions that went electronic long ago. I'd written recently that tales of the death of cash are greatly exaggerated. This patent only reinforces my belief.

Matt Scott - Wincor Nixdorf International GmbH - Bracknell | 04 February, 2013, 11:35

Sounds like a license for easier Loan Sharking - but having said that - how many people buying Apple kit are short of a bob or two?  They are not exactly aimed at the kind of people that want to advertise the fact they need to borrow cash...  I wonder what kind of middle-man commission Apple will charge for introducing P2P borrowers and lenders?

Erik Bogaerts - Naqoda Ltd - London | 06 February, 2013, 10:11

Try to remember that Apple is not a company making phones and maybe the idea makes more sense in that case.

Erik Bogaerts - Naqoda Ltd - London | 06 February, 2013, 10:15

And to be honest, this is the best idea in terms of 'mobile banking' I've seen in a long time ...

A Finextra member | 06 February, 2013, 10:16

"Try to remember that Apple is not a company making phones and maybe the idea makes more sense in that case."

I don't think that people advertising they have money to lend is ever a good idea.  It strikes me as a case of Apple wanting to throw as many objects in the air, hold their hands out and catch what ever falls back into them.

In all honesty I don't think Apple has thought this through at all.

James O'Keefe - Optima Consultancy (UK) Ltd - Manchester | 13 September, 2013, 22:27


Almost as good at the glove I read about a few years back... featured here:


US Patent No. 7,874,021, High tactility glove system

They do say Apple have well over 15000 patents.  I guess some are more speculative than others...

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