Pocket Banking: The Past, Present and Future of Mobile Payments

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Convenience is a motivating factor for most people, and businesses of all sorts have capitalized on that by trying new technologies and methods to draw dollars their way.

Mobile payment methods (using a phone to process payment instead of a check, charge card or cash) are still evolving. Here are some of the ways people are currently using them and what is next on the horizon.

Google Wallet

Image via Google.com

Google Wallet allows app users to upload their credit card and loyalty card information with a quick click of their mobile phone’s camera.

While its original adoption was slow because of the need for specialized credit card terminals by vendors, the need to use a Nexus S 4G phone on Sprint, and the need to apply for a specific credit card to use with the device, that has changed along with Google’s focus.

Wallet now allows you to carry all of your deals on your phone so that they are easily redeemed at checkout. After your identity is verified, you can send money to anyone with an email account through your mobile phone using either your bank account or Wallet Balance. Wallet can also be used at online retailers that feature the icon “Buy with Google”. Google Wallet also comes with 24/7 fraud protection and monitoring, a nice touch in today’s world.

Square

One of the most groundbreaking mobile payment technologies, Square, freed merchants from the cumbersome credit card reader. By placing the power of purchase in the palm of their hands, it allows them to sell to the cashless consumer. Vendors who formerly took only cash, such as farmer’s markets, food trucks, and street vendors, now have the technology to take credit card payment from mobile devices and iPads.

PayPal

PayPal grew up with the Internet. It started out as a way to process payment on websites like eBay but has grown into a method by which you can pay in store or receive payments from others. You can also use it to send money directly to someone’s bank account anywhere you have an Internet connection. PayPal also allows vendors to process credit cards through their website using their service.

Kindle

In 2014 Amazon announced that it was working on the ability to receive mobile payments through the Kindle tablet. This would mean Amazon would directly compete with Square and PayPal, the current giants in the mobile payment industry. This will be an interesting technology to watch.

NFC Chips and the Future of Mobile Payment

NFC chips, which transmit banking and payment data to card readers, are currently being used in mobile phones. However, there is a broader application possible here. These chips can be placed into Google Glass devices, watches, jewelry, and other wearable accessories that might be even easier than fumbling for your phone.

The mobile payment industry is growing and the technology changes at a rapid rate. Convenience is the driver and as long as people want to save time, mobile payments will continue to flourish.

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