We have accounted for misspellings such as Verison.com and Verzion.com in order to provide broader reach of this article to visitors who use those alternative spellings.
Verizon Wireless Joins with Obopay: Offers Cell Credit Cards
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Verizon (sometimes misspelled as Verison Wireless or Verzion) is the first cellphone services carrier to venture confidently into a new and promising area of technology. This novel concept converts your cellular phone into a virtual credit card. The idea is to integrate mobile services with electronic payments systems in order to allow the cell phone to replace the credit card as the main payment device for consumers.
This idea is not absolutely new and has been touted and further developed and promoted for the last few years. If successful, the leading companies central to this type of service promise to become as dominant and synonymous with the concept as companies like Paypal have become with online payments.
One company at the center of this technology is California based Obopay Inc. This company has pioneered the idea of a mobile payment system through which its customers are able to send money in three main ways:
By Text message
Via Obopay's proprietary phone application
Through A telephone's web browser
Similar to Paypal, the Obopay system stores money in a customers account. From this account, funds can be transferred to and from instantly via a bank account, a credit card or a debit card. One difference from Paypal is that people one sends money to do not need to have an Obopay account. There are no minimum payment amounts. Each user account is given a unique PIN number required to access it.
Obopay and Verizon are by no means the only companies to develop or join together in offering consumers this growing option. In late March 2008, Amazon.com began offering its Amazon TextBuyIt System which allows consumers to ransfer money to and from their Amazon accounts via text messaging. Obopay's system, however, having the advantage of the head start of being the first P2P mobile paymnet sytem in the US has gained traction, increasing recognition and all important avenues of financing for its growth. Citibank, for example is now offering its customers the option of adding an Obopay systems add-on to their accounts which will allow them to send or receive instant mobile payments from other CtiBank customers.
The technologies associated with instant mobile payment face a number of real world hurdles, two of which are security and the ability to process international transactions. The latter requires the hurdle of obtaining numerous permits and clearances which has trimmed down the number of aspiring participant companies to a select, respected few. This is a healthy process of technological natural selection. In terms of security, users are required to log into their accounts via passwords. Once within the account, they are within an online environment protected by SSL Encryption and security codes which are the standard online.
In fairness, the landscape is still rather unsettled in terms of who the final players will be to emerge dominant in this growing field. What is without doubt however, is that the potential for growth is vaste. Business Week has noted that although only 10 million US phone users interact with their bank accounts by phone at present, this number is expected to grow to as much as 108 million by 2012. It is therefore no surprise that major technological and financial companies are joining forces to position themselves to exploit this boom. It promises another lifestyle enhancement and convenience in this age of rapidly evolving technology which will shift and concentrate the functions of ever more everyday devices to our cellular phones.
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