Friday, May 16, 2008

What's In Your Wallet?

Imagine a world with no loose change, or plastic, or airline / travel tickets, coupons etc. just a mobile phone. The phone becomes a wallet, access card, identification and communications gateway to the internet, direct networks, the world. Is this so far away?

Technology is here today which companies such as Nokia have already introduced devices to use which enables small payments from mobile phones by just flashing the handset. However we are caught in a catch 22 where wide adoption requires prices to drop and a price drop requires wide adoption.

Research firms Strategy Analytics and ABI Research have forecast the 20 percent penetration would be reached in 2012 and that this should trigger adoption. ABI Research also have forecast that 6.5 million phone that contain the contact-less chip called NFC (Near Field Communication) will be sold this year, a figure up 10 fold from 2007.

Last year Nokia, large European and Asian carriers initiated a project which also involves the world's biggest payment card company, MasterCard. The communication is said to be cheaper and much faster than other wireless payment experiments, such as SMS text messages.