The New Frontier of Mobile Payments: Lose the PhoneNitin Sumangali |
The next move in mobile payments might be taking a truly revolutionary step: skipping the mobile phone altogether.
A new offering broadly categorized as “mobile payments” does not in fact use a mobile phone as the device to initiate payment. The Rochester, NY technology and design firm redbottle design has created a product called GlassPay, an app for Google Glass and Android that allows users to scan a product barcode via the Google Glasses and pay for it in with Bitcoin stored within the glasses. Any currency choice less esoteric would of course call for some kind of link to the global network.
The Global Insights team writes about mobile payments often, even producing the Mobile Payments Readiness Index last year, so following these developments is part of our daily jobs. However, this newest example is interesting in that it’s changing the definition of what we consider mobile payments; GlassPay combines cutting edge wearable technology with the digital, anonymous currency of the moment. This expansion of ideas in how we pay is part of a larger trend that views money and payment as more than bills in your pocket, but also numbers on a screen (glasses in your eye).
Even the rollout of Square Cash, which allows users to email money to their friends, shows that mobile-focused companies like Square are branching out beyond the phone to move money. MasterCard has long said that electronic payments are much bigger than simply plastic cards. It may turn out that mobile payments are much bigger than mobile phones.