In the US, your mobile phone is kind of your lifeblood – it can be your on ramp to the internet, your communication vehicle with your kids via texting, your only phone, your TV, your watch (who even remembers wearing a watch!), and your boarding pass. And as per my blog last week, it can even comparison shop for you! I’ve even read some articles where the hotel industry is enabling your phone to be your key to your hotel room so you don’t even have to wait in line to check in!
In other parts of the world, it’s even more your lifeblood since you can also use your phone to pay for things. It works via a technology called Near Field Communications (NFC) and there is a website dedicated to following this. And with the announcement of ISIS, using your phone to pay is coming to the US.
Since AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are driving this joint venture together, there must be a lot at stake. Namely money. I notice the top credit card companies Visa and MasterCard are nowhere mentioned, though Isis is working with Discover.
But if you can use your phone to pay for stuff, why bother to carry money or credit cards around? But will this work though? I can see pointing my phone at a soda machine and buying a soda. But using my phone to buy say an HD TV, I don’t know. After all, my triple play phone bill is typically messed up at least a couple of times as year and I need to get on the phone to clear it up. Having more and more stuff show up on my phone bill will probably require a serious track record of success. But certainly I would buy small things to start.
Hey, how about using the phone to pay for tolls? This way, I don’t need an EZ Pass Tag!