Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Smartphone bank card processing shakes up payments market

Charge card corporations face a formidable foe in wireless carriers investigating contactless payment technology for Smartphone charge card processing. AT and T, Verizon and T-Mobile are preparing to take on Visa and MasterCard by developing their own mobile payment system that lets customers purchase goods by waving a Smartphone in front of a wireless reader. The competition in the payments market is welcomed by retailers, who have fought with credit card corporations over excessive swipe fees. Post resource – Smartphone credit card processing shakes up payments market by Newystype.com.

Americas Smartphone charge card processing catches up

A payment service network to supplant credit and debit cards with Smartphone’s will begin with a test technique in Atlanta and 3 other U.S. cities. Bloomberg reports the service uses contactless technology similar to mobile payment systems in Japan, Turkey and the U.K.. Bloomberg quotes a business analyst as saying that wireless carriers, which have become experts at payment processing through their massive recurring billing programs, have created a “game changer”. The carriers have signed up Discover, the number four charge card business after Visa, MasterCard and American Express, to process the mobile payments.

Hurdles for contactless payment to overcome

Contactless payment features are accessible in 60 percent of Smartphone’s in Japan. If Smartphone bank cards take off within the United States of America, hackers can have added motivation to focus on cracking the system. Consumers may also be vulnerable to unauthorized purchases with lost or stolen Smartphone’s, just as they’re with credit cards.

Intense competition ahead for mobile payments profits

In their pursuit of mobile payment profits, the wireless carriers aren’t alone. ChannelWeb reports that bank card businesses and numerous tech firms have accelerated mobile payment programs as the Smartphone industry goes ballistic. Wireless carriers believe their background in payment processing is a competitive advantage. But Joe Bardwell, of Connect802, a California wireless solution provider, told ChannelWeb he wonders how processing payments for their customers will translate to servicing merchant accounts directly as a payment service network. Plus, consumers that already do not care for the wireless carriers’ billing practices may not trust them to handle charge card payments.

Competition in payments market welcomed by retailers

after years of fighting over transaction fees set by Visa and MasterCard, retailers could easily accept one more payment service network. The Bloomberg article mentions that merchants persuaded Congress last month to approve caps on interchange, or “swipe” fees, for debit transactions and filed a 2005 federal antitrust lawsuit that is still pending . A spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association told Bloomberg that a secure and reliable competing network that gives consumers mobility payment possibilities and reduces retailers’ costs would be welcome.

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