Bank of America Corp and Visa Inc have announced a new payment program through mobiles that will be tested in New York City starting from next month. This will potentially make way for smartphones as a common fixture in the hands of shoppers in America just like the plastic cards. The US banking chain and the credit card brand are proposing something resembling a debit card rather than a charge card. Select participants will be supplied with small chips by Visa which will be installed in their smart phones. These will emit radio signals.
According to descriptions provided by Reuters, customers would bump their smartphones into the devices used in stores as point of sale. Customers would just need to wave their phones over the device and the purchase would be completed after their bank account data will be collected. Reuters has also reported that US Bankcorp is planning a similar test program starting in the month of October. This pilot test by Bank of America will continue through till the end of this year.
Although the news sounds very exciting in the United States, there are many countries where similar payments` systems are old news and have been used for long periods of time. A good example is Japan, where mobile users can purchase drinks from the vending machines by simply waving their handsets at the machines. A former roommate from Japan says laughing that it is kind of dangerous as one might end up thinking it was free but in truth it wasn`t free. However, this trick proved to be a boon as far as sellers of canned beverages and the marketers are concerned.
Hence we know for sure that this digital wallet program is not unique. In fact it has been put to use in many different places. Earlier this summer there was news about MasterCard`s PayPass system`s mobile-ization process. This too works the same was the venture planned out by the Bank of America and Visa. In this case though, stickers will be plastered onto the phones which will turn them into NFC credit cards. As more and more such mobile purchasing programs do their rounds in the market, consumers will find it easier to get used to this idea. To say it in a very familiar style, a smartphone would cost just 200 dollars but the ability to buy anything with it is priceless.