2010 is going to be the year of Mobile payments.
While this topic isn’t specifically marketing related, it has the potential to rewrite many of the rules of commerce (not unlike what the Internet did a dozen years ago), which will most certainly affect marketing as well.
We’ve all heard the idea of making payments via cell phones for some time, but I think the reality of it is finally upon us.
PayPal has recently introduced apps for the iPhone and Android that allow consumers to transfer money by simply “bumping” their phones together.
But even more interesting and potentially mainstream is the May launch of a new mobile payment technology from Square. Square offers a free, tiny device that plugs into the headphone jack of any iPad or iPhone and allows the user to simply swipe a credit card on the device. That’s it. The app handles taking the money from the cardholder’s account and transferring it to the Square user. And, along the way, Square promises to manage everything from receipts, to loyalty programs to security. I expect you will see Square coming to you shortly, from your babysitter, your school fundraiser and your neighborhood car wash.
Thanks to the New York Times for its great article on this.