Mobile Phones Will Supplant Credit Cards Soon

By: tobocseo

Without conducting any survey one can easily predict that the ubiquitous mobile phone would be the most prioritized among things one cannot live without. In the late 1990s when mobile phones were launched, no one would have ever remotely even imagined, these amazing devices would one day become the greatest invention of all time in the field of communication, information, and the endless list of other applications. Mobiles are adding on new characteristics, to its initial communication image, on a regular basis. Lately, it has enabled another feature by filling in the shoes of credit cards. Now one can swipe one's mobile phone to pay bills in restaurants, shopping malls, railway stations, etc., to transform itself as an e-wallet.

Atom Technologies, the company from India that is behind the invention of software which can duplicate the function of a credit card in mobiles claims that the software is capable of burning the user's credit card data to a mobile phone. The data would be stored in a 2D barcode format and cannot be read even by the user, thereby secures the handset from misuse in an event it is lost or stolen. Besides, authentication in the form of PIN number is required for payment order. The mobile credit card payment or 'optical payment' as termed by its inventors, can be used at any business center which accepts credit cards, and has the requisite software with a webcam that could read the 2D barcode.

It is also loaded with another payment mode called remote location or over the air authentication, by which the user can use the cards sitting at home or office. In this case, the merchant establishment and the bank are connected over the air and the user will have to authenticate and approve the purchase. Currently, the system will work only on Java-enabled phones. Though the company would be levying a percentage of the transactions as its fee, the software will be provided without any additional cost to the commercial establishments including Banks, shopping malls, hospitals, etc.

In addition to the above technology, there are already two players who mimic the functions of the credit/debit card over an SMS, they are mChek and Paymate. mChek has already been conferred with the prestigious Global Mobile Award for the most innovative application during the recent GSM World Congress held in Barcelona in February, 2008.

Both provide services akin to that of a credit/debit card by storing details on a secure server, and once one is registered, one is issued a PIN number. This e-wallet has security features what one gets on an ATM, if one were to enter the wrong PIN three times, one's account gets blocked, besides that, transaction limit is also enabled on the phone. Major benefit of such an e-wallet is they thoroughly eliminate the number of plastic cards one carries around.

These latest innovations in mobile phone technology are also offering services including money transfer, mobile remittance, bank check clearance, ticket reservation, etc. All these mobile phone technologies indicate that one's phone is not only just an entertainment and navigation tool anymore but also an e-wallet.

Cell Phones
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