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Cell Phone Credit Card Payments Ready for Prime Time?

by Peter Andrew
Cell Phone Credit Card Payments Ready for Prime Time?

The technology to allow cell phones to store and transmit credit card information has been available for well over a year, but questions about security, a lack of manufacturers interested in adding the technology, and a lack of merchants with compatible credit card readers, have combined to make the actual use of such payments rare.� Today’s article in The Washington Post, however, demonstrates that the technology is making inroads, even among some mom-and-pop retailers.

The article centers on the D.C.-area Chevy Chase Supermarket, which is experimenting with cell phone credit card payments, but is still a year away from rolling it out to al of its customers. Even when the supermarket does, it’s questionable whether customers will use their cell phones for such payments, or whether many cell manufacturers will have even incorporated the technology into their phones.

The article quotes ABI Research as saying that less than five percent of the world’s cellphones will have the necessary technology by next year, and that the number will be 30 percent by 2011. Currently, only about 50,000 merchants can accept credit card payments via mobile phones.

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