Feeds

Mobile-phone wallet stymied by lack of understanding

Either that or people just don't care

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The financial industry's lack of understanding is what's preventing us from using our phones to pay for things, so the Mobey Forum is going to educate it.

In a new white paper from the 'Forum (pdf), the industry body explains the various technologies available as well as the business relationships which are necessary to make proximity payments happen, all presented on the basis that users are just dying to pay for everything with a wave of the mobile telephone.

"It has been proven that the technology works and [that] consumers love it" according to the white paper. But it's purpose isn't to sell the concept of proximity payments, but to explain how companies might go about setting up such a scheme and what partners they might need to do so.

In that regard, the document works well enough and should provide a useful reference, though it completely ignores the RF SIM technology being deployed in China. That's important as it allows a network operator to deploy a system that will work on any GSM handset, without having to work with handset manufacturers or rely on any other standards being implemented.

The document also seems curiously optimistic about the capabilities of "active stickers." RFID stickers have been used for payment systems for years, often stuck to the back of a mobile phone but not by necessity. The payment system embedded in the sticker operates entirely independently of the phone, and there's no connection between the two except a layer of glue.

But the Mobey Forum reckons that an "active sticker" could interact with a phone application over a Bluetooth connection, enabling anyone to upgrade an existing handset for proximity payments just by slapping a sticker on the outside and some software inside.

A keyfob based on that idea was demonstrated last year, but it's hardly a "sticker." That product also no longer appears on the company's web site, despite being demonstrated last year.

NFC tag with Bluetooth connectivity

The "With Me" from Cell Idea: It's not a sticker, and it's not in production.

But bearing in mind those limitations, the white paper is still a useful guide to how a proximity-payment system might be structured, and it's worth reading - if you believe punters really are crying out for mobile-phone payment systems. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.