Research predicts that mobile payments will reach the $90 billion mark by 2017. Several methods of mobile paying are functional now, as businesses, bankers and consumers gradually get on board with the idea. But, the popularity of mobile paying is growing rapidly. We’re headed toward a time when cash, and even plastic, may become obsolete. Even the magic strip on credit cards could become an historical curiosity, as NFC (Near Field Communication) payments flourish, and we become accustomed to waving a mobile device in front of a scanner to pay for our purchases.
It’s still early in the world of mobile payments
As financial giants like MasterCard and Citicard struggle to develop ways to conform their business to the mobile environment, companies like Google are improving the “wallet” concept, and individual banks and institutions are hurrying to adapt their individual systems to be mobile-friendly. Needless to say, right now, mobile payment methods are still in varied and complex stages of development.
How much do we really want to know?
Do we, as consumers, have the time or inclination to understand the complexities and challenges that are faced by developers of mobile payment systems? Absolutely not. What do we want? We want a secure, simple system that reliably works in approximately the same way, wherever we go. And, ultimately, we won’t have to manually enter account numbers and passwords, but will prefer to wave our all-inclusive device over a terminal that will read our data and process it correctly.
Really cool ideas quickly become dinosaurs
Payment devices that snap onto phones, such as the Square, are cool and convenient for taking credit card payments on the spot, but we still have to enter data and a signature to complete a transaction. Currently, the most popular way to pay for goods via mobile is the way we’ve done it for the last couple decades – through an online website and a credit card number (WAP, or mobile web payments). It’s familiar and it’s available and who doesn’t shop on the Internet? But, researchers predict that “proximity” payments – the kind you make with a wave of your phone – will become the fastest growing method, accounting for “$41 billion of payments made via mobile by 2017.”
Is it a little creepy to imagine that the wave of a device will one day pay for your groceries, as well as your new car? Right now, it’s still a novelty available with only a handful of merchants, like Starbucks. But if the experts are right, we’ll soon be able to pay for almost anything with NFC.
In the meantime, don’t forget to protect your mobile device with a powerful mobile security product! Share your ideas and concerns about mobile paying with us on our Facebook page, or leave a comment on our blog. We’d love to hear from you.