Mobile money

Published: 21 May 2011 y., Saturday

From now, when you want to buy a coffee or a sandwich, instead of reaching for coins or a credit card you can just brandish your phone.

The mobile wallet has arrived in Britain, in the form of a Samsung phone and a joint venture between Barclaycard and Orange.

While the new phone, using near field communication technology (NFC) to allow contactless payments, is a real step forward, what's surprising is just how long it has taken to happen. Mobile money is the revolution that has been just over the horizon for more than a decade. In 1999 I went to see Nokia in Helsinki.

The technology - NFC - had arrived, but it seemed there was not really the will from the mobile operators, the manufacturers, and the banks to come together and convince consumers that this was something they needed.

Meanwhile, the mobile money revolution was happening - in Africa. Travel to Kenya, and on every street you will see shops and kiosks offering the mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.

Here in the UK, mobile money looks like a useful addition to the way we handle our finances, rather than a necessity.

Šaltinis: BBC
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