Anonymous mobile payments from Amazon.com
It is widespread that entities use the Web to conduct payments. Usually information of both parties making “funds-commodity” exchange is shared. In some cases data can be personal or private and individual may want it to remain unknown to strangers. For those who do not want to disclose personal information (email address, cell phone number, name or other personal details) Amazon.com has patented anonymous mobile payments.
The idea of such anonymous payment system is simple. Participants, who would like to remain unknown, need to register with the system first. All operations will be performed using Amazon as a middleman. Both parties - buyer and seller - won’t have information about each other. Amazon (as middleman in transactions) will be the only entity having data on parties involved in transaction. Participants of this anonymous system will be issued temporary tokens, which expire once a transaction is done.
In practice this system can be described with the following example. You would like to make payment to a merchant or payee. You send message to Amazon server with text “PAY 40”. In return you will receive message with specially generated code, connected to your account. You can then forward this code to merchant or payee and they would be able to receive these funds to their account. Presumably code will contain some part of the recipient’s phone number, not enough to identify it. Still it will be sufficient to ensure that the code can be used for this phone number only.
System can become more complex with different types of codes. For example, temporary codes can be used only within a certain period by the recipient. On the other hand, there will be codes valid for multiple usages (number is limited) to perform payment plan.
Anonymous payment system by Amazon may ensure you that personal data may not be transferred to third party merchants or payees, who will then use it. Anonymity would contribute to improving your online safety, as personal information can be used to get access to your payment accounts or send spam letters.
There is no guarantee that Amazon anonymous payment system will be launched in the near future, as it is only a patent currently. Nowadays you can buy stuff from Amazon using Amazon gift cards from Unichange.me. Amazon Gift cards have no expiration date, so if there is some balance left after your purchases you still can use it in future.