Move Over Visa, Smartphones Are Taking Your Place

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Debit and credit cards are becoming a thing of the past. Well, maybe not the past, but they are certainly stepping aside, making way for mobile payment processing. Several restaurants in Canada, the United States, England and Australia have opened their financial doors to accept payments that can be sent straight to a mobile program.

These programs or mobile apps can be linked to area restaurants, stores, salons, and other business establishments. In a restaurant, once a user is signed into the app, they can order their food and receive the bill on their mobile device. Paypal has made this a possibility at 50 different locations in Toronto. Once a user sees their total bill amount in their Paypal account, the server then verifies the patron’s account by looking on the mobile device where a “selfie” is used to identify the user. Once their identity is confirmed by the server, the user can swipe to the right to pay the bill. This service is open to iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile devices.

An Australian payments provider has also recently launched a trial program in which all Android phones can be used as Visa cards. This essentially means that users can leave their credit cards at home when they are traveling, eating out, and shopping. The provider has created an app that can be downloaded by any smartphone, and once used, communicates with a secure application in the cloud. The application then verifies that the user is in fact the cardholder, and charges his or her card.

Other forms of payment, such as the Isis Mobile Wallet, have already begun to replace debit and credit cards. This is a free application on smartphones that users can download. As long as the phone is in proximity to the payment scanner, they can hold their phone up to the credit card payment machine at the cashier, and it will automatically charge the account.

While these mobile phone payments have made significant headway, it is not time to throw away your plastic just yet. Many of these apps and programs are still running on a trial basis, and will need more testing to determine their efficiency, and safety. Even still, it will be an exciting day when you can leave your bulky purse or wallet and home, and let your virtually weightless phone do all the work.

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