In addition to the arsenal of credit and debit cards in wallets and purses, smartphone users will have another method to pay for online goods–their smartphones. As smartphone use rises, and few people go anywhere sans phone in tow, carriers, banks, and credit card networks are targeting those advanced data users to make it easy for them to pay for needed goods and impulse purchases. Bank of America joins the latest effort with a payment method via smartphones through a specialized microSD card, where payments would be accepted by select New York merchants, including Burger King Holdings Inc., CVS Caremark Corp., BP Plc., New York City taxis, Walgreen Co. drugstores, Home Depot Inc. and McDonald’s Corp.
Bank of America joins the growing number of players trying to tap the lucrative mobile payment option, which hasn’t caught on in the U.S. but have been popular in Asian countries. Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA, an unlikely trio of partners, have teamed up to devise their own payment system, which is expected to go into trial soon. Visa and Mastercard are expected to arrive at their own systems, and American Express is exploring ways to utilize existing hardware and technologies already found in smartphones today. Apple recently had filed for a hardware that would enable Near Field Communications (NFC) and Nokia has announced ambitious plans to use NFC in their lineup for mobile payment.
With various methods and options available from different banks, carriers, and manufacturers, the mobile payment market, which is emerging, may be just fractured as the wireless market, offering different hardware, plans, and carriers for different types of payment options.
With credit information and monetary value now tied to a mobile phone through the implementation of mobile payment processing, losing a phone may prove to be more costly than the inconvenience and cost of trying to replace the device, the cost and opportunity cost of the lost data, and the hassle of trying to restore your address book and other proprietary information for business users. Now, losing your phone may be just as much work as losing your phone and your wallet full of credit cards.
(via: Providence Business News)