Thursday, June 25, 2009

Different ways to integrate Card with Mobile

We live in a world that is controlled and dictated by credit cards - at least in the first world. It is impossible to consider a world without credit cards... no more restaurants or online purchases. But with the invention of mobile money schemes, it has become important to develop different ways of integrating credit cards with mobile phones.

The first integration that one usually sees is the connection of a card to a mobile so that alerts can be sent to the phone when the card is used.

The biggest challenge, of course, is to ensure that a credit card payment can be accepted (or received) utilising a mobile phone. Many solutions have been deployed and today mobile phone subscribers utilise their phone to pay for goods and services using credit cards - in a similar way to using your credit card on the Internet. Some solution providers have utilised different ways of making these transactions more secure and more innovations will happen.

Another approach is to issue a new type of card that is tightly integrated with the cellphone. Some of the more famous examples are Smartmoney in the Philippines and also Mobile Money in South Africa. Many more examples exist, for instance a recent announcement of Romania's Raiffeisen Bank, with a dedicated card that can be used to send money via mobile phones. (See here).

I am actually more interested in other innovative ways that a card can be integrated to a phone: Like being able to disable the card and again enable it via the mobile phone. This feature was recently announced by Veritec (they called it MTC - Mobile Toggle Card) (Read more here). I think that these type of solutions are really innovative and adds a lot of value. So are the ability to change your card PIN on the phone and to be able to link a new card on the phone. These and more functionality are all available on the Fundamo platform out of the box.

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