Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mobile Trend: Wallet Phones

You're ready to pay for your dinner with your significant others but the waiters are nowhere in sight.  Well, it's a busy night.  But you're running late for the 8:30 showing at the theater a couple of blocks away.

You take out your smartphone and you see the bill has already been sent directly to the commerce app.  The app even lets you set the tip.  You entered the correct amount and pressed "send".  Done.  You guys leave just in the nick of time to catch the opening scene.  But because you were late, you got crappy seats.

Just such a scenario could take place in the near future where payments are sent and accepted wirelessly through your mobile phone.  The question is how quickly we would like to see mobile Internet devices to replace wallets?

Ixplora is reporting Japan will be coming to our rescue with "wallet phone".  The Japanese have been using this for years and they will begin pushing to on the rest of the world.  No word on what initiative the Japanese will use or now they plan on doing it.

Let's examine what other possible benefits can come from replacing our wallets with smartphones.
  1. Use your smartphone as your ID - passport, Identicard, driver license
  2. Club membership - gym, country club, library
  3. The ability to shop almost anywhere.  Imagine going to a book and with the option of buying the book or getting the digital version downloaded instantly into your smartphone.  
  4. To purchase travel fares.  Subways, buses, or airline tickets.
  5. Order from food or coffee.
Can all this really work?  It'll take time, lots of elbowing as companies tries to fight to get their technologies and standards.  Regulations, congressional hearings, privacy concerns.

While adoption of just such a thing could be a long bumpy road, but Onxo believes we have to continue our march towards digital and wireless world regardless of how much foot dragging we do.  That day will come and more quickly if everyone from elected officials, tech companies, and privacy groups craft a comprehensive plan that allows plenty of room for innovation while at the same time protect the interests of the consumers.

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