Friday, 11 January 2013

Leave your wallet, just use your phone!

Do you remember years ago when a mobile phone was invented so you could phone people on the go, so you could be mobile but still keep in touch? Then you could text people as well, so you didn’t have to call them if you were in a rush. Then you could take photos on your phone, play games on it and surf the internet – now you can make payments for real items on your phone too.

You can now do your banking on the move, check your bank balance on the internet; you can download apps to buy things through your smartphone you can text to donate to your chosen charity, or, most excitingly, you can make contactless payments on your mobile phone.

There are now around nineteen million contactless bank cards in the form of credit cards and debit cards, these allow the phone owner to pay for products in the UK up to the value of £15 by simply holding the card over the reader, no pin or signature is required to authorise the payment.

The technology that has made this possible is called NFC (Near Field Communication) and it is now being incorporated into the latest smartphones.

Having the Near Field Communication in your mobile phone means that you do not need to have your actual credit or debit card, you just hold the phone over the reader in the shop and the payment is automatically taken from your account – as easy as that!

Currently it is just Orange and Barclay Card that are offering this technology and it’s only available on one phone, but experts have predicted that many more companies will be offering it over the next few years meaning that you never have the embarrassment of leaving your bank card at home and having no cash in your wallet.

The contactless security is built on exactly the same secure technology as Chip and Pin was. For the phone owners own security you are only able to make a certain number of contactless transactions before the phone owner is requested to enter their Pin Number at the terminal.

If your phone was to become stolen, as with your bank card, you would have legal protection from your bank. Exactly the same legal protection would be offered on your phone being stolen and payments being made, as to your credit card being stolen and payments being made.

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