CBR rounds up five of the best mobile payment technologies on the market at the moment.
1. Google Wallet
Google has always had its fingers in many pies, with its own move into telecoms soon to come. So it came as no surprise in 2011 when they demonstrated their mobile payment app, Google Wallet, at a press conference. Since 2013, the service has been integrated so that anyone with a Gmail account can use the service on Android and iOS. It allows users to send payments, view balances and tap and pay in certain stores. Surely the time isn’t far away when people can manage their entire lives from a Google sign-in.
2. Apple Pay
Apple’s offering sports similar features to Google Wallet. However, its use of Touch ID rather than a pin will increase the convenience and security of mobile payments. While the app is only available on Apple devices, the California-based tech giant has announced that the technology will also be available on the upcoming Apple Watch, meaning people will be able to manage their payments without even needing to take out their phone.
Venmo goes after the peer-to-peer payment market rather than retail, allowing users to easily send payments to their friends. Once you have downloaded the app and signed up, the simple "Pay/Request" interface allows you to either pay or request payment from anyone with the app. This helps to simplify group payments for, say, restaurant bills and birthday presents, removing the need to onerously exchange bank details. The optional newsfeed, built in to the app, adds a social element to the app and provides you with notifications when people have paid.
For those who aren’t interested in downloading a new app – or don’t mind downloading a new app but don’t want to constantly receive pictures of other people’s pets and cookery – this offering integrates with the Snapchat interface to allow you to make payments via your chat windows. The user swipes into the chat window of the intended recipient, types a dollar sign to go into Snapcash, then enters the amount and hits the green button to pay.
5. Flint Mobile
Moving onto the supply side, the Flint Mobile app provides a new form of contactless payments for small businesses that removes the need for a credit card reader. Using the smartphone’s camera, the vendor can take a credit card payment simply by scanning the card number. The nifty tool also has built in support for online selling and invoicing and provides automatic syncing of all transactions.