Mobile devices make it easier than ever to unwittingly spend extra money, and with an ever-growing number of children and teenagers using smartphones, it’s easy for parents to start feeling anxious about the status of their credit card balances. As a result, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the process of patenting a “Parental Controls” app to allow people to put restrictions on purchases.
The concept is basically an “e-wallet” — or iWallet, rather — where multiple individuals can be tied to one credit card account, but each user can have different spending privileges. Parents could set weekly or monthly allowances, block specific merchants or types of merchants, and decline transactions over a predetermined amount. There would also be an easily searchable purchase history with details about each transaction.
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According to the patent application, “a financial account management application stored on a processor-based device may provide an interface for defining financial transaction rules to be applied to a subsidiary account. The financial transaction rules may be based upon transaction amounts, aggregate spending amounts over a period, merchant categories, specific merchants, geographic locations, or the like”…