Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who's Calling Your Wallet?

Cell phones are generally as small as or smaller than a wallet; now they're replacing them altogether.

USAToday had a story yesterday about how more than 50 million people in Japan — about half the country's cellphone users — have phones that double as a wallet.

From the story:

"Japan has pioneered not just the technology but also the business models that will pave the way for wallet phones to become a standard payment method in the future. Some 700 million people worldwide are expected to own such phones by 2013. ...

Success in Japan and in trials abroad have shown that the technology is ready for cellphones to replace credit cards, cash as well as serve as transportation and movie tickets and electronic keys for homes and offices."

The story notes that people already carry their cellphones with them everywhere they go and a financial function would be quite handy. It doesn't mention much about security — and as a person who is often misplacing her phone, that would be important — but says that Nokia has started selling wallet phones but growth is hampered by "costs stemming from an extra chip needed in phones for data security."

No comments: