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Hold the phone: retailers eye payments via smartphone

Maria Korolov | March 27, 2012
An emerging technology called Near Field Communication will soon give new meaning to the phrase "tapped out."

But most of the international projects have involved the older feature phones, he says. "In the mobile world, we tend to look negatively at the U.S. as far as mobility is concerned," he says. "We tend to see Europe as being ahead. But one of the things that's changing is when you look at smartphone purchases and deployments, the U.S. is far ahead of the rest of the world."

In addition, overseas mobile payment systems operate in very different environments, says Mahesh Makhija, head of the cards and payments practice at Infosys, a global technology services and consulting firm.

Many emerging countries didn't have existing payment systems in place, for example, nation-wide transit systems, or had strong government intervention, he says. Adoption in the U.S., however, will be driven by different factors.

"The path in the U.S. will be through applications that sit on the smartphones, killer applications that people will not be able to live without," he says. "The U.S. is pretty unique. I don't think there's any country where you can go and see what's happening, and see the future of what will happen in the U.S."

 

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