California-based business and financial software company Intuit has been awarded a patent for processing bitcoin payments via text message.
The patent, published by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, details how a system of virtual accounts could enable two users to transfer funds using mobile phones. The company first filed the patent in 2014, shortly after it launched its QuickBooks Bitcoin Payments service, a bitcoin transaction processor which small businesses could use to accept bitcoin in lieu of fiat currencies.
As the application states:
“The invention relates to a method for processing payment. 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.”
It goes on to explain that validation of a payment text message would be done in a number of different ways.
One requires sending through “a password request associated with an account of the user” in order to process payment. Another takes into account the use of voicemail as further validation by sending through “a voice phone call [that] is automatically disconnected by the payment service without answering.”
Such unanswered voice calls would act as confirmation of all credible payment texts aimed at distinguishing from the potential threat of “random message or spam message sent by a machine.”
The company has long been looking into improving access to bitcoin payment processors. While it launched QuickBooks in 2014, the company continued developing its payment platform, most recently partnering with payment provider Veem to enable international cryptocurrency payments.