Published on November 25th, 2010 | by Babar Bhatti3
Mobile Phone Get Closer to Becoming Mobile Wallet
We have been hearing about cell phones working as mobile wallets for a while. It appears that finally, these apps will become mainstream in 2011.Here are a couple of recent news excerpts related to this. First, an upcoming product from Google.
A new Google mobile phone embedded with a chip that makes it a virtual wallet so people can “tap and pay” is poised to make its debut, the Internet giant’s chief said.
The successor to the Internet firm’s Nexus One smartphone runs on fresh “Gingerbread” software and is embedded with a near-field communication chip for financial transactions, according to Google chief executive Eric Schmidt.
WSJ writes about a new business model in the US in which mobile phones will be used to send and redeem gift cards.
Gift cards represent big business. U.S. consumers said they planned to spend $24.8 billion on gift cards this holiday season, according to a recent study from the National Retail Federation. Only a fraction are expected to be mobile sales because of the nascency of the business.
The virtual gift card, which is sent via text message or email, can be bundled with a picture, audio and video message, further personalizing the gesture. To send the gift card, you can enter the recipient’s email address or cellphone number. People can check the balance of their gift cards while on the go, as well as purchase items directly on their phone. Mobile gift-card site and apps use the same security as a standard PC website, although consumers aren’t still entirely comfortable with mobile financial transactions yet.
American Eagle customers can purchase gift cards through the website or on their cellphone. The retailer is using Transaction Wireless’s technology to detect the recipient’s phone and format the gift card for either a basic or smartphone. Consumers can pay for the cards with either credit cards or through PayPal.
The transaction isn’t entirely seamless. Consumers will have to present their mobile phones to the store clerks, who have to manually type in the account number. That’s because older scanners aren’t able to read the bar code on a cellphone screen because of the glare.