This is considered to be the biggest program ever coordinated by two companies towards conjuring a digital wallet of sorts. This program which is going to run from September till the end of the year will reveal the technology with a lot of capabilities that would be designed into the latest and the most advanced mobile phones. Major banks in the US, providers of cell phone services and technology companies are trying to take a lead in this technology which some predict would take over as the primary and most popular means of everyday purchases.
A similar test would also be conducted by Visa with US Bancorp according to a spokeswoman. The pilot according to the spokeswoman would begin this October. Strangely, mobile payments are common in countries like Japan since a long time, but the technology hasn`t been adopted finally by US after quite a delay. According to Bank of America`s electronic commerce head, Laurie Readhead, this could be quite an amazing capability given the adoption of various types of bank services on the phone. As part of this program, small chips which would be supplied by Visa in collaboration with technology vendors will be installed in the smart phones of many employees and customers in the New York area. These chips will emit the radio signals over short distances.
The idea is to bump the customers` phones with point of sale devices present at various merchant stores. The customers actually will have to wave the phone over this device and the data about the customers` bank accounts would be collected and used to complete the purchase thereby. It is still not revealed though, about how many people would participate in this pilot. According to the Visa spokesperson, although the pilot conducted by Bank of America wouldn`t be larger than other mobile trails, the impact on the market would be much bigger. Visa had announced about its plans as early as in February although there seems to be lot of competition in the market.
Mobile banking was introduced by Bank of America in 2007 which has more than 5 million customers. 15 billion dollars of transactions are currently conducted by these customers through phones which include transfer of money between accounts and bill payments. The numbers though are considerably smaller than the 29 million online banking customers who conduct about 1.5 billion electronic transactions. The services will further expand with more smart phones being developed.