Android Rollin' with Digital Plastic Cash

Discussion in 'Android News' started by JohnDroid, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. JohnDroid
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    Smart-phones make our lives easier in so many ways. They help us stay connected to family, friends and jobs. They store pictures, music and videos for or personal edification. They give us entertaining games when we are bored and access to the internet when we need information. They pay our bills for us when we are at a coffee shop or restaurant.

    Wait.... what was that last one? Yes, you read that right. In many neighborhoods across the globe there are places where your smart-phone becomes a magic wand that you wave in front of a machine to pay for your latte or sandwich. Furthermore, if the many start-up companies that are rolling out this 'not-really new' technology have anything to say about it, it will eventually be in your neighborhood too.

    The technology is called near-field communication, or NFC. It is an advanced form of RFID (radio frequency identification), and earlier in November Google demonstrated an Android phone with this technology inside. The NFC chip stores your credit card information and transfers it to the payment processing machine, making the credit and debit cards in your wallet a thing of the past. With this tech, you don't need to sign for anything or even wait for a receipt, because the communication runs two-way. Just before you head out the door a digital receipt is sent back to your phone. If you would like to read more detail about the technology you can check it out here at Howstuffworks.com.

    Interestingly, there are some retailers that have been using a form of this concept without the technology of the NFC yet. According to this article from PCWorld.com, there is a company called MobileLime in Boston that allows you to sign up for their service online and link your banking information to your cell phone number. Then at any of the participating retailers in the Boston you can simply phone in your payment before you leave the establishment. According to the same article there is a similar start-up company in Carlsbad, California, called BlackLab Mobile trying out the same thing. Also, in Coral Gables, Florida you can use the same concept to pay for your downtown parking meter payment and even extend its time.

    Digging a little deeper we find that, according to Mobilemarketer.com, MasterCard has been experimenting with the technology since 2008! Their mobile wallet service called PayPass, quietly rolled out to test markets in Dallas, TX and is slowly spreading around the country.

    Furthermore, according to this article at FoxNews.com, “AT&T, Verizon Wirelesss and T-Mobile recently announced a joint venture called Isis to build a mobile payment network based on an NFC system. The first markets should go live within a year and a half. And Nokia and Google have indicated their new 2011 phones will be compatible with it.”

    It seems that our smart-phones may just be poised to eliminate the need for our wallets fairly soon. I've always liked the idea of a cashless society, but it does pose some interesting problems as well. What happens when digital thieves figure out a way to crack the security? Also, for some people, having unfettered access to their bank account at any moment might cause them to overspend their budgets.

    Still, it's pretty amazing how an idea born from the 1960's 'Star Trek' is reshaping the world. So what do you guys think? Do you like the idea of your cell phone becoming your wallet? Is it an unstoppably cool idea or a scary technology-train-wreck waiting to happen? Sound off with your perspective in the forums.

    By DGStorm
  2. Bilgediver
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    Bilgediver New Member

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    I think they do this in Japan already.
  3. DF Smod
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    DF Smod New Member

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    As long as there is a 100% reliable lock/wipe feature, then bring it on - possibly even fingerprint recognition to activate :wink:
  4. jntdroid
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    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

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    we're getting close to the wrist barcodes, like in Idiocracy ;)
  5. Abby Normal
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    Abby Normal Member

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    Personally, I like the idea......

    I did not they were using it in the far east somewhere.
  6. gmorgan056
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    gmorgan056 New Member

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    I think this would be a great idea as long as they can make sure the information is secure.
  7. yahwarrior
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    yahwarrior New Member

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    I guess it's better than a microchip in your hand.It's a Brave New World we are heading toward.Google "CASHLESS SOCIETY".
  8. RyanPm40
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    RyanPm40 Member

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    Seems very risky
  9. SquintyOS
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    SquintyOS New Member

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    Honestly, I like the idea. In Japan, they've been using a similar (or the same) technology in DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keita (lit. Wallet Mobile). This tech is also integrated with Sony's FeLiCa RFID card which makes the phone function that stores info like a digital wallet. Most cellphones in japan come standard with these and even little kids up to adults use these. I'll include this Wikipedia link so you guys can read more.

    Osaifu-Keitai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and for the people who are interested in the said tech and would like to read about Japan's mobile phone culture.

    Japanese mobile phone culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Cheers,
    Squinty
  10. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I do all my banking and bills comfortably online, but I don't do anything sensitive on my Droid.

    Besides the obvious problem if your phone gets lost or stolen (I suppose using the lock password would buy time), I just don't like the idea of stuff picking off my banking info on a radio frequency.

    Don't know if it's real or not (seem like it would be), but NCIS just a week or two ago had a show where a teen was walking down the street with a device stealing this info from people. Encode a blank credit card and boom you're done.

    There's also the typical adoption problem - most people aren't that interested until it is convenient most places, and most places won't spend for the tech until there are enough customers wanting the service to justify the expense.
  11. DroidMastar2
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    DroidMastar2 New Member

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    Well there is a constant emphasis on change in the way we spend money. And it is becoming increasingly more popular to use quick pay methods.

    I wouldn't hop on something like this right away but apparently it is the wave of the future.

    Two major issues exist:

    How secure will it be?

    Despite the increased "pace" of society, at what point do we decide what is more productive/effective as opposed to what is just plain lazy?
  12. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. There is some of that going on, but this does make sense although I share your concerns.

    I only carry a few cards, but I still need my wallet because I do carry some cash. But eliminating the need to carry those cards & ID would be nice, especially if stuff like your auto insurance card could be automatically updated. Actually can't see an ID on your mobile flying with Airport security and the like - too many possibilities to be manipulated or altered. Unless it can all be on my mobile it is, as you said, not much of a convenience.

    Problem as I see it is online banking has yet to prove to be 100% secure, and most of the problem lays more in retailers/banks getting hacked than your computer being unsecure. This tech IMO is a long ways away from being reliably secure on mobile.
  13. beargold23
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    beargold23 New Member

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    Just think its a bad idea. When it comes to computers and networks they will always be able to be hacked!!! I see no problem with carrying a wallet around, and im a tech head. I will be the last person in line for this!!! :icon_evil:
  14. AltimateJP
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    AltimateJP New Member

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    This is a big step toward having a cashless society. You know, where some hacker steals all of our financial info and leaves us completely cashless...flat broke.
  15. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    I'd def love this feature.... sync it with a pre-paid card (to prevent major damages in the event of theft) and I'd be all over this.
  16. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    How does having to constantly go an add more funds to a pre-paid card make it more convenient? Does not a credit card (which has protections against fraud, anyway) provide the same loss minimization with credit limits?

    Does it really take that long to remove a credit card from your wallet and swipe it? A lot of stores don't even require signatures anymore for purchases under $50.

    The fact that it could avoid signatures and ID verification is interesting. But it's not that convenient if you have to turn on the "transmit CC rif" every time, nor does it seem to be a good idea walking around with your phone broadcasting your CC info, no matter how small the range and encrypted.
  17. texanmike
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    texanmike New Member

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    I'm not a fan of a cashless society. Two problems with it if you ask me.

    First, fiat currency and fractional banking have done enough to ruin the value of currency, what happens when there is zero incentive to print money? It would seem that there is absolutely ZERO motivation to not just magically "produce" more money.

    Second, I like the idea of dealing in cash with personal stuff and don't know that I want a record kept of every transaction that I ever make.

    Mike
  18. kodiak799
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    kodiak799 Well-Known Member

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    An excellent point. Credit has played a large role in expanding the money supply.

    Companies can actually create "money": Bank gives me $1000. I buy materials and labor to make a widget and then sell that widget on credit for $1200 to another company. I can then use that receivable to get more credit from the Bank or my supplier.

    Haircuts and reserve requirements prevent the money supply from expanding infinitely, but the financial crisis illustrates the risk. Asset values were grossly inflated and this led to losses because the recoveries were insufficient to cover the liabilities.
  19. Sayid
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    Sayid New Member

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    ...is that Pepper Potts in the picture?
  20. Abby Normal
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    Abby Normal Member

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    Well now that ya'll have made all your points, especially about security and how you would rather just take a few seconds and pull your credit card out of your wallet etc etc etc

    Take a look at this.....

    Video -- WREG

    I have been working in Tech all my life and I can tell you this.....

    Whatever is invented today will be hacked by next week...

    So IMHO, if you think this new chip on your phone will make your life a bit easier, then go for it..

    If you don't, then just don't get it.....

    something will be invented to stop this from happening and immediately after that a new way to break through the stopped will happen......

    When pc's first came out, you didn't anything but an operating system but now you had better have anti virus, anti spyware/malware, a firewall and security set up on your wireless connections.....

    Will this stop someone bent on getting into your system, probably not but it will keep out 90 some percent of the other folks who want in...

    They are after the easy computer to make a zombie out of...

    So do whatever makes you happy and take the best precautions to protect your info....