Everybody’s talking about using mobile phones as cash wallets, but the problem is there doesn’t seem to be any way to make it work without a lot of effort. Sure, we’ve got NFC (near field communications) which let you wave your phone at a payment terminal to pay, but there’s only a few NFC enabled handsets around, and the manufacturers don’t seem to be in a rush to bring more out right now. Now there’s a clever new alternative which could just set the whole market alight.
The SECCOS Mobile Payment Sticker from German company G&D is a simple but sophisticated sticker you attach to your phone, which immediately turns it into the equivalent of a MasterCard contactless credit card. The sticker then lets you pay for purchases at more than 350,000 PayPass locations in 37 countries around the world. What’s more the stickers can be configured by the issuing bank as either credit, debit or prepaid cards, which should open the market up to a wide range of optional services.
The first banks to use the technology are Sparda Bank and Donner & Reuschel in Hamburg, Germany. For amounts up to 25 Euros there’s no need for a signature or PIN number, and each bank can choose what authentication to use for payments over that amount. Payments appear on your ordinary credit card bill every month. In order to avoid any possible interference with the phone, the sticker comes with a special iron coating. So the next time you buy a McDonalds Happy Meal, you could be doing it courtesy of nothing more than a sticker and a wave.