Sunday, 29 October 2006

Pay with your cellphone

In november of 2005 Jason Kottke talked about his Asian travels (bit scrolling down) and the positive experiences he had with the Octopus card. Like any other debit card you put a certain amount of money on it, but in stead of swiping the card through some reader and put in a 4 number digit, you just hold the card in front of a sensor and it automaticly debets your account.

The card has a flaw. It's the card itself. Not that it breaks easily or something like that, but it's just the simple fact that it's another thing to carry along. So you have to wonder if there's not something you always carry around with you anyway which you can use as replacement. The answer is simple: a mobile phone.

Credit card companies have seen the posibilities of this as well. Master Card together with Cingular and the NYC subway have started the NYC Mobile Trial, an experiment where people can use their mobile phone to pay for their rides. They will also be able to download content near smart posters which will be located in the subway stations.

There are still things to work out on the system (with security being the biggest issue) but it's a beginning for an easier payment system.

Original link by Gothamist

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