The obvious advantage would be that goods and services individuals cannot afford won’t be delivered to them, which could lead to higher conversion rates.
APApple CEO Tim Cook has historically spoken against monetising user data. It describes a system that would show adverts for products to groups of people with a common profile, “based on the amount of pre-paid credit available to each user”. The company will soon allow marketers to send messages to customers in Apple Wallet, target by user tastes in the News app and break up songs with commercials in Apple’s subscription music streaming service.
Apple ads could possibly be based on tracking your credit/debit cards and checking your bank balance in the future, according to a new patent filed by the company on Thursday. It can then better select the ad to show you based on whether you can afford what the ad is attempting to sell.
[T]he delivery element is arranged such that the content item [ad] delivered to the user includes only one or more objects having a purchase price less than or equal to the available credit for that user. Would the new Apple ads system be protecting consumers or the opposite?
We asked Apple for comment but didn’t hear back.
While such a system may make for streamlined and relevant advertising, many people could feel sidelined at such a class-system coming into place. Apple historically has targeted upper-income users and has never been interested in the kind of customer who wants a free phone in exchange for looking at ads. And, of course, this is just a patent, so it doesn’t mean the feature will ever come to be.
That said, the product blueprints don’t necessarily mean that Apple or the participating advertisers would actually have access to the personal financial data it amasses.