Visa finds a way to make your smartphone an e-wallet
Visa has been demonstrating its PayWave technology at the Mobile World Congress, which lets any smartphone user convert a handset into an e-wallet.
As CNET reported from Barcelona, this year, Visa is planning to launch a contactless payment system for mobile phones that customers can use by inserting a microSD card into the backs of their handsets. (For Apple iPhone users, Visa will have a "special plastic skin.")
There have been rumors that the next version of Apple's iPad and iPhone will have this technology built in, but, as Bill Gajda, global head of Visa Mobile, told CNET, "people don't want to wait two years for NFC-enabled phones to come out or to switch phones. You can make payments today on the iPhone 4."
The CNET report says that banks will hand out the microSD cards to customers, who will then download the PayWave app. At stores with the readers for contactless payments, customers will simply open the app, line up their phones with the reader and click or slide a button to pay. Visa argues that this system is safer than using a traditional credit card, since the chip generates a unique authentication code for each transaction and doesn't give stores your credit card number.
Chip expert Karsten Nohl, however, told CNET that near-field communication payments still have their security weaknesses and that the technology may need a bit more time to be completely safe.
Does the idea of paying for things with your phone appeal to you? Or do you prefer your plastic?
| February 18, 2011; 8:35 AM ET
Categories: Gadgets, Shopping
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