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With dizzying speed, cell phones have taken over tasks that might have seemed impossible just a few years ago. We now turn to them for email, web browsing, photography, gaming, and even to act as TV remotes. And soon enough they may be replacing credit and debit cards, too.
The recently launched Google Wallet aims to allow users quick and easy payment at numerous stores and shops nationwide. All that’s required is a mobile device equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip and the Google Wallet app. To make a purchase, you have only to tap your device on a sensor pad.
Numerous large companies are betting on this new NFC payment technology which is made possible by a wireless communication standard that enables short-range communications between machines with sensors. NFC chips represent an improvement over Bluetooth ones because they have a low power draw and remain functional – enabling transactions to still be made – even when a phone needs to be recharged.
PayPal, which is owned by the auction giant eBay, is also getting in on the game. After a string of acquisitions, they’re working on covering all aspects of purchasing from start to finish. The innovations they’re developing include: geo-targeted advertising; in-store purchasing through bar code scanning; real-time inventory checks; point-of-sale payment using NFC; and even customer loyalty and promotional services on-demand (think Groupon).
For all of these payment innovators, actually selling new customers on these new products may prove to be a challenge. To unlock these new markets, focused marketing strategies and targeted advertising campaigns will be key.
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