Monday, September 19, 2011

Mobile Payments

MasterCard gives sneak peek into mobile payments future
The availability of Google Wallet will be announced within weeks
MasterCard on Thursday gave a sneak peek into the near future of mobile payment systems and said that the Google Wallet application is within weeks of being rolled out commercially.

Google Wallet, announced in May, lets mobile phone users pay for purchases in stores by tapping their phones against point-of-sale terminals. At the tail end of a media and analyst day in New York, MasterCard demonstrated the application as well as other, future mobile payments systems.

Initially, Google Wallet will work only on Nexus S phones, made by Samsung, on the Sprint network. Nexus S phones now on the market incorporate Near Field Communication (NFC) technology on an embedded chip, which allows for payment information to be transmitted via the tapping technique.

Google Wallet will work on PayPass terminals already deployed in stores, though some of the terminals will need an upgrade to work with the applications, according to officials at the demonstration. In the U.S., there are about 150,000 retail locations equipped with PayPass terminals, according to Kathleen Reilly, vice president and senior business leader at MasterCard, who said the Google Wallet application will be rolled out "within weeks."

Up to now, the PayPass terminals have worked with NFC chips embedded in cards or special stickers placed on the outside of mobile devices. However, chips embedded in mobile phones offer big advantages, according to Mario Shiliaski, senior vice president of Innovative Platforms.

"A big advantage is that the chips are embedded in secure elements in the hardware, and if they are compromised they are designed to self-destruct," Shiliaski said.

In addition, there will be a range of complementary applications for the technology that users will be able to download, Shiliaski noted. Google Wallets will initially offer the ability to store electronic coupons that can be redeemed at retail outlets, he said. Later this year, MasterCard's inControl will be available for download, he added. InControl is designed to let parents or employers establish parameters for when, where and how their cards are used. Users will get text messages, for example, when certain limits are met.

Major retailers including Macy's, Walgreens, Subway, Noah's Bagels, American Eagle, Bloomingdale's, Peet's Coffee and Toys 'R' Us have signed up to work with Google Wallet.

MasterCard also opened the kimono on a number of projects cooked up by the MasterCard Labs, established after the financial services giant acquired Dublin-based OrbisComm in 2009.

The projects demonstrated Thursday focused on the company's QkR platform, technology that embraces motion and audio signals as well as touch to allow for a range of applications. One application demonstrated Thursday allowed a phone user to scan a rebate coupon and share it via Facebook or Twitter
"This allows for a different type of viral marketing, where people using this technology and sharing information with friends can get additional rebates," said Garry Lyons, chief innovation officer at MasterCard.
The social-network sharing technology is working now in a pilot with more than a hundred users, Lyons said. A more futuristic application involves audio signal technology. In one demonstration, audio signals embedded in a TV commercial were detected by a mobile phone application that a person could then use to download coupons related to the advertisement.
QkR technology goes beyond mobile phones, however. Lyons showed off one application where users could input payment information via the Xbox Kinect, using gesture recognition to select items and go through a checkout process.

Though some of the applications demonstrated by MasterCard are not likely to be rolled out any time soon, the company is looking to officially announce details related to the technology soon, possibly over the next few weeks, officials said.

The QkR platform, with its range of input capabilities, is a good hedge to the NFC-oriented Google Wallet application. NFC will have plenty of competition, including a PayPal mobile payment initiative announced Thursday that works by having mobile devices scan product bar codes and authorize payments through PayPal mobile accounts.
What are your thoughts in respect to this technology? How will society adapt to this innovation? Discuss some pros and cons on this type of new technology? Ie. Security, acceptabilty, adaptability, etc.


  1. I think that this is a very interesting use of technology. It is definitly more convenietn for the people who have this option and who understand how the new technology will work. I think that our society is still way behind though and that we will not adapt to this so soon. Many business's still do not even have the pay pass system and some don't even have chip readers yet. I don't think we will adapt well, at this point. In a few years when everyone has caught up, we may think about using this technology.

    Some pros of this new technology are that it is very convient for people who have access to it. It is likely faster for customers and the workers. Transactions can be processed quicker and will allow for more customers to purchase items from that store. It may also help eliminate lineups.

    The cons for this new technology are that people will not adapt to this right away. I think that it is too advanced for our society at this point and therefore will not be accepted by users. Business's may want to introduce this system but I think that customers will not use it. Regarding security, I think that it is no more secure than credit cards. It may even be less secure. Many people lose their phones and people who find them may take advantage of the mobile shopping device.

  2. I feel as though this technology is retarding people's ability to effectively keep track of or understand how much money they have. MasterCard is a cerdit card company, in saying that, the money that you would be spending through the PayPass system is not your money. I much more prefer the tangible aspects of money and I think it raises respect and understanding of a dollar or a twenty. Cash allows you to really see the money that you are spending.
    I think the consumers that already subscribe both to MasterCard (and the PayPass system) and a smart phone will eagerly accept this new form of payment because it is a natural transition for them. Companies like Visa and MasterCard may very well force the consumer population into using these applicatoins by fazing out tangible cards (ridding a major cost), this action would cause adaptation. Those same companies are going to have a hard time attracting customers that aren't interested in either a credit card or a smart phone. Society would more than likely adjust well to this new type of technology if only because cash is on the way out anyways.
    I could see the potential for major security threats concerning this new technology. If you lose your phone, if someone is able to hack into your phone, viruses, there are a plethora of issues that need to be addressed and will need to be addressed as the system is laid out. It will be hard to convince a user market that is not interested in a credit card or a phone, and the initial start up for this plan is going to be a fortune and incredibly risky.

  3. I think that this technology is pretty cool and kind of crazy. It is cool because it is a completely different way of looking at how to pay for items as well as companies are always trying to think of new ways to keep their customers happy. I think it is crazy because there are so many things that could go wrong with this process that for people to trust it will take a long time and I don’t think many people will use it.
    I don’t think that society will adapt to this type of technology innovation very well. I feel that many people are already sceptical about using their credit cards online and I don’t see how they would feel comfortable doing this. I do know that my parents and any of my older relatives would not use this type of technology and I don’t think I will until it has been around and perfected. Having said that, I just got my first credit card the other day and I don’t think that I would use my credit card for this just yet.
    Some of the pros about this technology is that it is a quick and easy way in order to buy things and to have transactions go through and it is keeping up with the times because I think someday this is how everything might be in the future.
    Some of the cons are if you happen to lose your phone there will be a lot of personal information and if it gets into the hands of the wrong person they might take advantage of using your phone as a credit card. Also I don’t think that many people will catch on to this very quickly and it usually takes a lot for people to trust new technologies.

  4. My thoughts on this product is that it new and innovative and people are going to use it. I don't know myself if I would ever use it because I am just not as technical with my phone usage, but if I was, I may consider using if I used credit cards as well.

    Society will adapt very well to this technology because cell phones are the widely used products out there right now and if people don't have to carry money they won't. Plus, it is also convenient for consumers to use. Basically it would take less time to use a mobile service then go into a bank or go to the teller at the store and wait in lines.

    The pros and cons of this technology are Pros - it's new, it is convenient, and no lines five stores are testing the product. Cons - is it secure enough, it's only available on one style of phone right now, Can it be adapted to other tevhnologies, are they adapting it to the appropriate market demographic, does it have stayability, and only offered through Master Card.

  5. I think this technology is a little silly. It seems unnecessary and to advanced. Also, if all the businesses are not using it then it almost becomes more of an inconvenience to have it, if only select retailers use it. Then you will always be asking, oh do you take Google Wallet? If not then you use your credit card or cash like you always would have. It also would force you to have to specific phone that is compatible with Google Wallet.
    I think some people in society would like this new technology, not all, but some. There are people who are really into keeping up with the new technology, but then there are some of us who don't even have a smart phone yet. So I think it wouldn't catch on just yet, but if available to use everywhere and at all stores, society might be up for it.
    PROS- Everyone carries around their cell, it's on you most of the time, so to have that built in wallet would be handy. You could get away without even bringing a wallet/purse.
    CONS- Think how many times you've misplaced/lost your cell phone. It is not a good feeling, and if it was one with your wallet, losing it would be even worse. The security is just a little loose yet for me to trust using it. It is also only compatible with a select number of stores, and out of the ones listed I'd probably only shop at one or two of them.

  6. This new technological innovation is very intersting and I do look forward to actually seeing someone use technology when they go to pay for products or redeem coupons. However as for myself I think it's a little over done; just when you think they thought of everything you get something new introduced to the market that supposedly will make buying easier. I just can't see myself using these new appications and I couldn't see MasterCard's new service making my shopping any more convienent when it already is. On the other hand I can alot of tech savvy people going head over heels for this technology, all I can say is what ever floats your boat or float easier I mean.
    I think many will adapt to this new service and it their puchasing more convient. On thing I think alot of consumers will like is the fact that it offer you more control over your money especially if someone else is spending it (as noted in paragraph seven). The downside to this innovation is that only some will adapt; for some this might give them to many options when comes to paying for a product. This may not attract as many consumers as they are anticipating; also it was stated that this application was meant for a samsung phone; have the leaders of MasterCard watched commercials lately? I don't many people jumping to buy a Samsung phone; its blackberry's, HTCs and of course the iPhone. If they want this technology to be more adaptable then they should adapt to the majority of there market. These would be people who have lastest technology like the phones I just noted. The new Samsung phonesare impressive but they are not the first choice when people look to buy "the best phone".