Using your mobile to pay for everyday things is definitely something we are going to hear more about over the months and years to come. A few months ago I wrote about the Mobile Money Network which aims to make shopping easier and now I’ve learned about businesses like Google, Orange and Verizon entering this arena.
The whole idea of ‘wallet-less’ paying is quite an appealing one. In simple terms, it comes down to cashless transactions via your mobile, without even having to get your wallet or credit card out to enter your payment details.
The underlying technology is based on the concept of Near Field Technology (NFC) which allows a device, usually a mobile phone, to collect data from another device or NFC tag at close range. Users are thus able to use their phones as a touch-payment system. To give an example, the soon to be launched Google Wallet is likely to work as follows:
- Link Google Wallet to your Google account – When you first launch the Google Wallet app on your smartphone, you will be asked to attach your Google account to your app.
- Enter your credit card information – You enter the details of your debit or credit card into the app.
- Back-end verification – Your bank will be involved in a back-end process to verify your card data.
- All clear – Assuming that the verification does not throw any surprises, the bank will give the “OK” for your mobile payment.
Main learning point: I learned that even though it’s early days, mobile payments are definitely the next big thing in terms of mobile technology. The ease and simplicity with which users will be able to pay by just tapping their smartphone screens could be a real winner. However, I do feel there will be a lot of ground to cover before this becomes a reality and a mainstream success. I can imagine that security and privacy are consumer concerns that need to be addressed for wallet-less payments to be adopted by the masses.
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