Nokia, Samsung and LG have recently joined hands with a number of operators from south east asia to embed a wireless payment system in their phones. (Read here)
With wireless payments, you would simply swipe your phone over a participating MasterCard machine and boom, pay your way across.
Great, so now when your phone is snatched, they get your money too?
Another interesting sentence from the article: “China Mobile… already support the common wireless chip format on the mobile phones
they distribute for their networks.” Hmm….
It will be a while before mass electronic payments can be in place in Pakistan from cellphone networks (see my previous post on The Dot Puff)
Both initially started out over a different technology medium, ammana envisioning web payment and inov8 distributing a credit-card machine for retailers, but it seems that both have moved into the mobile space with payments over SMS (Inov8 working with a Malaysian firm on the solution).
The SMS model provides more security than a chip-enabled solution.
Side Note: Despite Ammana being first to market with the idea, Inov8 was the one highlighted by PSEB in their recent industry profile presentation.
Added to this, the telecos themselves are moving into a position to become a threat: With “Balance Share” services in place, all the telecos would need to do is make their charge card a payment system for consumer goods, or alternatively allow retailers to cash back in on their charge cards. While that in itself may not be truly disruptive, but it might open up a floodgate of more interesting value-added-services on cellphones.
It seems clear that C2C payments could change the way a lot of things work in Pakistan, e.g. empowering micro-industries to take orders for delivery over the phone.
As I said before, the weakest link in enabling a micro-transaction enabled society is the pre-historic banking infrastructure, and the flow of electronic transactions through the State Bank.