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Saturday, June 25, 2011

New mobile payment mechanism launches... and I don’t get it

Mark Bridge writes:

Let’s talk mobile payments for a moment. Not using your ‘mobile wallet’ in shops but simply purchasing something online. Opening your phone’s web browser and placing an order. Opening an app and buying an upgraded zombie-killing mega-gun. That kind of thing.

You enter your card details, you click ‘buy’ and you’re done.

As you can probably tell, I don’t think that’s a particularly big deal. But San Francisco-based card.io does.

It’s come up with a software development kit that reads credit cards when they’re held in front of the phone’s camera. No typing required.

Neat. I’m sure many developers will be interested, despite the 9p per transaction charge. But it’s hardly world-changing. It’s not even handling the payment part of the transaction.

However, there’s a million dollars that says I’m wrong.

That’s how much funding card.io has picked up this year - helped, I’m sure, by the reputations of its ex-AdMob-employee founders.

Which suggests I’m missing the point.

Perhaps it’s my UK-based perspective. (US citizens can pay in cheques to their bank by using a similar photo-taking application). Perhaps I’m over-estimating the amount of patience people have.

But I really don’t see what all the fuss is about.

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Author: The Fonecast
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Categories: Applications, OpinionNumber of views: 666

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