Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Could Smartphones Mean The Death Of The Wallet?


MobilePay Video from Randy Smith on Vimeo.

MobilePay USA has launched an iPhone App that could mean you can now leave your wallet at home and never have to worry about theft of several credit cards at once.  With this App you can now store your credit card(s) number digitally in the cloud not on the phone itself, so no worries if the phone is stolen or lost.  Your number is stored at a secured payment provider.  You still need a PIN to activate use each time but since it's stored in the cloud, you can easily deactivate it from any other device should you lose your phone.

So how does this actually work when you are ready to pay?

You simply let the merchant know you wish to pay by phone enter the Pin on the iPhone App, get a receipt by email.  Those of you worried about credit card fraud can rest easier knowing you are not actually handing your card to the waiter to walk off with to complete the transaction.  From that perspective, it never leavers your hand and the waiter never sees your card.  The PIN directs the payment provider to send cryptographic token to the merchant and the transaction is completed.  You get a receipt by email.  There's no special equipment needed by the merchant but he will pay a 1% transaction fee.  MobilePay is also coming to loyalty cards and other smartphones soon, so now you can leave all those cards at home.

MobilePay is geo-location activated, letting you know which merchants use the system in the area you are located.  Think how useful this could be in a city and how fast it would be to get a train or subway ticket.

Convenience, speed and security will make this an inevitable must have App that will change the way consumers shop in the physical world.  Could MobilePay mean the death of the wallet?   I think it will appeal to many.

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