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« Wireless Sunday | Main | Cash means a lot of baggage »

Near and far

By Dave Birch posted Jul 5 2011 at 10:52 PM

What is the leading edge in mobile payments? And where is that leading edge? I'm always scanning for new ideas to bring back to our clients and I'm always looking out for ways to exploit new technology in the transaction space.

Doug Busk, mobile brand strategy and global connections at The Coca-Cola Co.,was one of the participants in the “What’s on the Horizon with Mobile Payments: How All the Pieces Come Together” session. He pointed to a vending machine that uses mobile SMS to enable payment

[From Coca-Cola SMS-enabled vending machine changing future of mobile payments « Near Field Communications / Smart mCommerce]

You've got to at least raise an eyebrow at a talk about the mobile payment horizon that uses SMS payment for Coca Cola as an example of the brave new world just around the corner since, to the best of my knowledge, the very first mobile payment ever made (in Helsinki, in 1997) used SMS payment for Coca Cola! But not a million miles away from this birthplace of a new economy,

Meanwhile, Denmark's banks are also working together on a different sort of mobile payments system, using text messaging. BankSMS is slated to launch later this year, enabling users to initiate purchases of things like train tickets by sending a text message with a product code.

[From Finextra: Danish telcos team on NFC payments; banks put faith in SMS]

Maybe I've totally missed the curve on this one, what with getting distracted by these new-fangled proximity interfaces. But further afield, an astonished correspondent writes (28th June 2011) to say

I am in Jakarta right now and am seeing an NFC terminal for payment at a coffee shop

What's going on? The developed world is going back to the future with the SMS while emerging markets are getting in touch with NFC?

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]


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Whilst the SMS idea is certainly not cutting edge it does have the advantage that it is device agnostic, requires no app download and therefore can theoretically be used by a wider number of devices/users. Reminds me a bit of the anecdote about the American space pen vs Russian pencil.

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