Paying by mobile

Forget cash, forget debit and credit cards, the future is here. Barclays and Orange now offer customers the opportunity to pay for things using their mobile. It’s quick, it’s convenient, but how does it work? We take a look...

It used to be the case that mobile phones were used to make phone calls and send text messages but we now use our mobiles for all sorts of things: playing games, searching the internet, social networking. And one of the latest developments is to use a mobile in place of cash or a credit or debit card to pay for things with.

Barclays, in conjunction with Orange, is the first bank to launch mobile payments. It uses contactless technology which was first introduced in 2007 and is a payment system that can be used for low cost transactions up to the value of £15.

Rather than having to key in your PIN when making a payment with a debit or credit card, you hold the card to the reader as authorisation. It is therefore a quick and convenient way to pay.

Up until recently, contactless technology was only available on credit and debit cards, but it is now being rolled out to mobiles.

CF: Are we going to have to get new phones and new handsets in order to be able to pay for things by using mobile?

Tom Gregory: As of today the technology is just on the one phone, the Samsung Tocco phone. However, we’ve got some exciting news to come and there are more phones that will be released in to the market that has this technology within it.

And we envisage a situation where in the not too-distant future the technology is in every phone, a bit like where today you have Bluetooth or you have a camera on every phone and that’s a vision which we share with Orange and with Samsung and some of the other handset manufacturers as well.

CF: and from a customer perspective thought, how safe is it? Because if you don’t have to put your pin number in, presumably if someone gets hold of your card or phone they can go spending?

TG: we actually see that a contactless payment on a mobile phone is safer than cash for example. So, if you lose your wallet and you have cash in there and the cash disappears, you are not going to see that again.

The contactless mobile phone comes with the Barclays 100% fraud guarantee. So, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your phone and someone was to use it then that money would be refunded back to you.

So, we believe it is safer than cash on top of that there is a number of security and protocols which we have in place, so you can if you want to – as a customer – put your pin number in before each transaction, so that is a choice that the customer can make.

We believe that because they are under £15 transactions, must customer choose not to do that but that is totally at their discretion.

And secondly, the actual phone its self is very secure in terms of the actual technology that is in it.

CF: It’s very interesting; I wonder where we will be in ten years time!

Thank you Tom

TG: Thank you

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