Ideas: Mobile wallets

Should you leave credit cards at home and rely on your smart phone for money?

A few years ago I saw a man punching a few buttons of his cell phone to purchase a movie ticket. It was in Europe. “Wow, they can do that”? Since then the idea of mobile wallets spread like a wild fire. It is not a novelty any more. For two years now Zoompass.com has been offering the service to Canadians through all major wireless carriers.

With the Zoompass mobile app one can:

  • Send, receive, and request money between friends, family, and co-workers
  • Link a bank account to easily load funds
  • Shop at stores and online, or withdraw money at ATMs, using the Zoompass Prepaid MasterCard® card

Some say mobile payments is a growing business and one day it will be the preferred way of payments by consumers. Much bigger players then Zoompass are trying to grab the lion share of this relatively new way of handling money.

PayPal announced in 2010 a two-click mobile payment system called Mobile Express Checkout. PayPal already have 100 million active users and this year only expect to handle $3 billion in mobile transactions. The company is so excited by the current success that is not afraid to predict the disappearance of the traditional wallet by 2015.

At the end of May this year Google announced its Google Wallet. The technology is now being tested in New York and San Francisco. Google Wallet will let people with smart phones to pay in retail shops by tapping the phones against a payment terminal.

And Visa has their own plans to offer a digital wallet system in the US and Canada this fall.

I like this situation, because when competitors with deep pockets focus on offering a service, the consumer is the ultimate winner.

Mashable.com has made a great infographic about the mobile payments market and explaining how the technology works.

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