We all know how hard it is to keep up with technology and in particular the latest and greatest cell phones and soon we will have the cell phone wallet. They will give us the ability to pay for things quickly with our smartphones. All you have to do is show your mobile phone almost anywhere you choose to shop for almost any purchase and it’s immediately recorded in a digital cost report. Do you regularly eat at McDonald’s? Tap your cell phone to pay and your all-in-one debit card/receipt tracker/loyalty system can immediately provide you with a 10% discount on your bill.

Where can cell phone wallets be used?

Right now, if you want to appreciate these rewards, you have to visit Japan. But after many years of talk, cell service providers, financial institutions, startups, and cell phone manufacturers are now definitely trying to turn Americans’ cell phones into cell phone wallets. The goal: Get a share of the processing service fees tied to the $3.2 trillion in total annual retail credit card spending, and also convert the $1.2 trillion in cash and checks into digital electronic transactions.

For the past five years or more, Visa and MasterCard have used near-field communications (NFC) chips in credit cards and touch-payment fobs. Now they are also adopting cell phone wallets. Later this month, Visa will release a case for Apple’s iPhone (designed with Dallas-based Device Fidelity) that makes the device suitable for tap-and-pay consoles. This comes on the heels of MasterCard’s identical entry this summer, when it began selling tags (designed with Atlanta-based First Data) that stick with cellphones. “Consumers today use cell phones for online payments,” says Josh Peirez, director of innovation for MasterCard Worldwide, referring to songs and software delivered electronically. “The goal is to find them comfortable doing the exact same thing in the physical world.”

Temporary cell phone wallet products are going to have a shelf definitely shortly Lido.

Nokia has reported that it will incorporate NFC chips into all of its mobile smartphones by 2011, effectively prompting Apple, Rim and other competitors to pursue this cell phone technology. “Stickers and products are welcome bridges,” says Gerhard Romen, director of mobile phone financial services at Nokia, “but customer demand for mobile phone wallets is increasing, and full execution is why which technologies advance”.

Experts estimate that NFC will end up being ubiquitous over the next 3-5 years, giving cellular carriers more power to determine the foreseeable future of the cell phone wallet. To be sure, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless are apparently implementing a joint payment initiative. They also understand how to make payments, billing, collections, maintain accounts on a large scale.

That said, companies are unlikely to do it themselves. In Japan, a largely cash-based society, NTT DoCoMo took control of the mobile wallet market by buying a bank. A more likely circumstance in the United States, where people no doubt love to buy now and pay later, would be more than one company partnering with and even buying a credit card network to take full advantage of their brand. equity, experienced processing, and retail relationships through the use of cell phone wallets. “Together, they could provide unparalleled fraud protection,” adds Philliou. “And when the danger goes down, so do the expenses.”

The Scramble for Cell Phone Wallet is activated.

The rush and excitement around the cell phone wallet is truly feverish because, along with service providers and credit card networks, now banks, tech giants, and startups are generally willing to claim a cut. of this probably massive new ecosystem. PayPal already lets customers send funds via text message, and Osama Bedier, its vice president of mobile systems and new projects, envisions a service that stores gift cards and alerts consumers when they’re near a business. Earlier this summer, mobile phone startup Loopt introduced its Loopt Star program, a digital rewards card for brands like Starbucks and Gap. US Bank is working with Infosys to move beyond a simple banking app: It’s creating a location-based “concierge” so clever (and perhaps terrifying) that it’s possibly presenting a discount on shampoo to shoppers browsing the aisle. of hair care. . As NFC technology proliferates, says Dominic Venturo, US Bank’s chief innovation officer, “we will be able to make a business case for services that can be even better.”

This year, eBay can expect US consumers to buy about $1.5 billion worth of products using its smartphone apps. It’s a bit of a leap, then, to use that same mobile phone to pay at the Target in your neighborhood mall. “From a customer standpoint,” says Robert Hedges, a partner at financial services consultancy Mercatus, “the question is, ‘When will the banking industry catch up with us?’