The Future of Smartphones is in Mobile Payments

The world is about to change in a big way. As you read this, some of the world’s largest wireless carriers, tech companies and financial institutions are sitting together discussing the future of mobile phone payments. What they decide will dictate the way most of us make payments in the future.

Mobile Payments

As one of the most technologically spoiled generations known to mankind, I think its safe to say that we all feel that our phones can never do enough. Remember once upon a time when you had to carry your MP3 player, cellphone, portable game system and portable DVD player along just to keep from dying of boredom?

Now you can find all of those components in a smartphone that fits in the palm of your hand. And soon, you may be able to add your wallet to the list of things that you no longer have to carry.

Square Credit Card Reader

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The Big Players

Currently, the Electronic Transactions Association is in talks with the world’s major tech and financial players. In this elite group are four of the largest wireless carriers in the United States — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint — some of the largest tech companies in the world — Google, VeriFone, and PayPal — and major financial institutions like Wells Fargo, Capitol One, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

Together, this Mobile Payments Committee is working together to develop industry-wide standards for mobile payments.

Talks are still pretty new and it’s tough to know what they will decide. But there are some clues. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are currently testing the NFC-enabled mobile payment system Isis in select markets. And certain other mobile payment methods like Google Wallet have been rejected by major financial instituions like American Express.

The Future

Whatever they decide, it is sure to change the future of smartphones forever. Security on phones will be tighter and, more will be at stake if you loose your smartphone. But we can look forward to a whole new host of apps and widgets that make mobile banking and payments much easier than they ever were before.

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Soon you will be able to swipe your phone at most cash registers using — we assume — some sort of NFC Technology. You can also collect payments from customers and shady friends via a tiny credit card swiper attached directly to your phone. Soon wallets will be obsolete and your “friend” Gary won’t have any more excuses to not pay back that $75 he borrowed.