Cell Phones Could Soon Replace Wallets

MasterCardPayPass.jpgUSA Today is reporting on how we’ll all soon be able to pay for things by waving our cell phone in front of a scanner, instead of pulling out our wallets.

Some folks worry about security issues when they hear that. But the article reports that companies working on this new system say it is rock solid:

“Encrypted payment information travels through the air from the phone to the scanner. The system is based on ‘contactless’ technology already in some smart cards–credit cards and key fobs embedded with chips so they can be used instead of swiping a magnetic credit card.”

Like many things related to mobile, cell phone payments have been available in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea for a while now, just to use MasterCard’s PayPass system as an example. Some say that it’s inevitable we’ll start doing it here, too.

“This is how consumers want to pay,” said Simon Pugh, head of MasterCard’s mobile group, in the article. “As we look at how behavior is evolving, what are the three things people take as they leave their house? Their car keys, their phone and their wallet. If they only had to take two–if their phone becomes their wallet–and it’s MasterCard and it’s secure, we think that’s something consumers will want.”

One more thing cellphones could do: Replace wallets [USA Today]