News & Views - Savantor

Moving closer to mobile payments

Thursday, 01 March 2007

Mobile payment technology received another boost with the announcement this month that fourteen mobile operators around the world have teamed up to create a standard payment system, called "Pay-Buy Mobile", using the NFC standard.  Alongside this is the news that NTT DoCoMo subscribers will soon be able to use their mobiles for payment in McDonald's.  So, just as contactless cards are announced in the UK their likely successor, NFC enabled mobile phones, are gaining strength and market momentum.

If you're at a point of sale, you ideally want any non-cash transaction to be as fast and simple as possible and waving your phone in front of a reader is pretty fast - even if you've set your phone up to require a PIN entry to finalise the transaction.  Contactless cards can also be fast but there are still obstacles to be overcome such as what happens if you have more than one contactless card in your wallet when you wave it at a terminal.  There is clearly a place for both forms in the market but the ubiquity of mobiles particularly in the younger generations suggests that NFC may quickly become dominant especially as person to person payments are also available in this form.

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