Say goodbye to that wallet, George Costanza.

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  • February 22, 2011
  • INK Team

We all know someone who has one. A wallet so full of receipts, credit cards, loyalty programs, coupons, pennies, business cards from your dentist five years ago, and let’s not forget the obligatory old photo ID that we carry around (maybe from school or a previous job), which we are embarrassed of, yet still keep in our wallet. The time has come – to downsize. That was the theme at Smart Card Alliance’s fourth annual Mobile and Transit Payments Summit, held this year in Salt Lake City, UT, and a theme that the United States will soon embrace with the deployment of NFC enabled handsets, set to hit the market at the end of 2011 (40 million chips expected to enter the North American market this year alone). The “mobile wallet” is among us, and mobile payments are starting to pave the way.

I know what many of you are thinking – “what’s the big deal with mobile payments?” And the answer is: convenience and security to the next generation of consumer. Imagine this: You are sitting at home debating on whether to buy that $150 leather jacket online. Determined to first try it on, you drive to the store, scan the item’s barcode into your smartphone and Amazon Mobile Payments application pulls up the exact jacket for $30 cheaper. And what’s that…they are offering you 10% off if you buy it now and have it shipped to your door tomorrow? One click later (with my financial information preloaded), I am done. The ecommerce landscape is an industry that is driving the mechanisms behind mobile payments because consumers are driven by incentives, and ease of use.

It’s not just the retail industry that is jumping on board with mobile payments – financial institutions, social media/online advertising giants, and wireless carriers are all chomping at the bit to get behind a mobile payments platform that will not only provide secure and fast transactions to their users, but also develop a new kind of relationship with their customers. The technology is ready; it’s implementation, adaptation and industry standards that are slowing this race. Fear not, compliance will come soon enough. In the meantime – start throwing out those old receipts.

Click here for more information on Amazon’s Price Check application. And stay tuned for net week’s post: The Amazing World of ISIS….