Humans are increasingly seeking flexibility. Having the world at our fingertips has never been in greater demand. From keeping up with Friends on Facebook to turning on your oven 20 minutes before you arrive home, businesses are increasingly seeking ways to make the world your oyster… through your smartphone or tablet. Don’t believe it? Take a look at this BlackBerry PlayBook review to see how mobile technology can speed up transactions that would formerly take hours or keep you close to the characters in your favourite games, all in one tablet!
An area seeing fierce competition is in the ability for us to make payments on the move using our smartphone or tablet. Imagine the possibility of making a purchase using a smartphone, and then instantly paying with a simple swipe of your credit card!
Intuit, a Canadian based company, has developed the ‘GoPayment’ system. Available on the iOS and Android systems, they supply a card reader which attaches to the top of your device. A download of their app enables a connection between these, so that when a purchase is made, you can swipe your credit card through the reader, enabling instant payment. Surely this kind of innovative flexibility must cost a fair bit, I hear you say? Actually, not all that much. The company issues the reader free of charge and claims there are no monthly fees and no commitments. The only charge is a 2.7% fee each time you swipe. This can be reduced to 1.7% should you decide to take up their optional monthly subscription, at a rate of $12.95/month. It may sound like a breakthrough, but there are others fighting for a slice of the cake.
PayPal have created the PayPal Here™ mobile payment system. The system is very similar to that of Intuit, particularly in relation to the fee structure. However the key difference is that Intuit only accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover credit cards. PayPal not only accepts these credit cards but have extended this service to PayPal itself of course, Debit cards and cheques. You can even invoice from the app, which is available again on the iOS and Android systems.
NetSecure have developed the Kudos Payment service. They provide a similar arrangement to Intuit and PayPal, with a slightly higher charge of 2.7% + $0.20 per swipe and a $49.99 fee for the reader. Although Intuit and PayPal are working to cater for BlackBerry devices, the Kudos Payment service is already available at the BlackBerry App world.
Barclays Bank, in the UK, have created the Barclays Pingit system. After creating an account with them and downloading their app, you acquire the means to make a payment from your device to another contact simply by entering their phone number. The contact must register with the service in order to enjoy the benefit. This person can be an individual or small business. The significant point here is that there is no card reader involved, in fact, no plastic at all… Is this the future?