31-May-2012 23:32

Will Mobile Payments prove Popular in UK?

Even if the next iPhone has a mobile wallet app and a Near Field Communication chip inside, we don't expect contactless payments to suddenly explode in usage - if the experience in the US is replicated here…

Despite its influence in the smartphone realm, Apple is only one small part of a complex world of wireless financial transactions that involves banks, credit card processors, smartphones on several operating systems, merchants and NFC payment terminals.

In the UK & the U.S, which lags behind Japan and South Korea on contactless payments, there is already a well-established banking network that supports customers with credit cards and ATM machines to provide a ready supply of cash and credit.

Such a variety of choices for buying things has reduced the demand in the U.S. for phones with NFC technology for making mobile payments.

Recent polls show that Americans aren't that interested in using NFC smartphones or mobile payments. (‘Mobile payments’ cover a broad category that includes using [SMS] text messaging, contactless payments and the Web to make payments and purchases from a mobile device.)

Apple has long been expected to launch the next iPhone, possibly by this autumn with an NFC chip that would work with mobile wallet apps. to allow smart PIN-type purchases from merchants or transit providers and a payment terminal to transfer funds from an established account, likely a traditional credit card, such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Google launched Google Wallet for NFC-ready Android phones on Sprint last September, and despite more than 100,000 payment terminals in the U.S., the project has thus far seen only modest success.

Could this just be a means to track what you buy and where, simply to sell data to companies for targeted ads direct to your phone.

After all, surely Credit Cards are still far more mobile & certainly more reliable than any mobile phone.

What are your views?

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