Mobile banking: phone networks to provide mobile 'wallets'
Published 16 April 2012 by Joel Stanier
'Mobile wallets' allow bank account holders to make payments by simply swiping their mobile phone over a payment point. Now it seems the mobile phone networks themselves are looking to provide their own 'wallets' to customers.
A few months back, it was reported that several major retailers have introduced new payment points that enable customers to quickly make payments by waving an NFC-enabled debit/credit card or mobile phone over a reader.
But who makes it work? Well, many of these services require some kind of mobile 'wallet' - in short, a way of adding 'credit' to your mobile phone - and it seems that mobile phone networks are looking to provide their own services, according to The Independent.
O2 are currently trialling their 'O2 Wallet' with 750 customers, with a full launch expected shortly. If this sounds familiar, that may be because O2 first trialled this kind of service back in 2007. But at that time, very few phones had the technology to make it work.
Today, though, a number of the latest handsets offer this technology, including the Samsung Galaxy S2 and the Sony Xperia S - and it's strongly rumoured that the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 will also be NFC-enabled.
With other mobile phone networks also thought to be working on their own mobile wallets - as well as other well-known companies such as Google - it's very possible that making payments using your phone will become commonplace in the near future.
An expert at thinkbanking commented: "Today's smartphones allow people to do things that would have required several different devices only a year or two ago. For example, you no longer need an MP3 player for music and a laptop for sending emails, because a mobile phone can now do all these things.
"As people get used to doing more and more with their phone, it seems that mobile payments are the logical next step."