I’ve seen stories lately that make me think another app pattern is emerging: iPhone as an ID. (Not news to you? Gotta love intelligent readers.)

It does make some sense.  In cases where serious identification is not crucial, the iPhone can be used.  With a full iPhone, you can bet people don’t just loan them out to people indiscriminately.   On days when I’ve forgotten my wallet, I still didn’t forget my iPhone.

Think about these:

  • Companies are sending account information, such as passwords or password reset info to the mobile phone recorded in the account.
  • RSA has a “SecurID” app for the iPhone.  Its used just like the cards and keychain dongles that give a code number once a minute.  That’s 2-factor authorization.
  • iPhone and iPhone apps are being used to pay for physical goods and services. A hotel reportedly issues iPod Touches to guests.  The guests uses them to order food and drinks by the pool and pay on the room account.  (They give the devices back at checkout time.)
  • Apps are used to exchange contact information.