Soon, you could 'swipe' your iPhone to pay bills!
There's plenty you can do with them - play music, send pictures and what not - but soon, you could be using your iPhones for shopping. Barclaycard and the UK's biggest mobile phone network, 'Everything Everywhere', which includes Orange and T-mobile, have signed a partnership to bring the system to 40,000 tills.
"This is the beginning of a revolution in how we pay for things. It's a cultural shift that is as important as the launch of the personal credit card or cash machines," the Daily Mail quoted Chief development officer for Everything Everywhere, Gerry McQuade, as saying.
He added, "We're making something that's been talked about for many years a reality and, very soon, using your mobile to buy a sandwich, a cinema ticket or, in time, even something bigger like a computer will simply be the norm."
This is how it works: there's a tiny chip and an antenna installed in the phone, which ties the handset to the owner and their credit card or bank account.
The antennae sends a radio signal to a till scanner which recognises the handset, authorises the payment and then deducts the money from the owner's account.
Of course, there are drawbacks - the more frequent the transactions the more are the interest charges. People will also be suspicions about the security of the technology, given the recent history of bank innovations.
Another worry is the phone getting lost.
But Orange has insisted the system is secure.
A spokesperson said customers would be able to use a single contact number to cancel their phone and 'mobile wallet', meaning no transactions could be carried out.
Chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, David Chan, insisted the new regime is secure.
"I believe that future generations will find it surprising that early this century we were still carrying separate items to buy goods and to communicate with each other," he said.
"As payment experts, our role is to make it easier, more convenient and incredibly secure for people to make purchases and manage their money while on the move."
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