mobile payments service(redirected from mobile wallet)
mobile payments servicePaying for merchandise or services in a store via mobile phone. A smartphone wallet app either holds prepaid funds or works like a credit card, and various authentication methods may be employed. As of late 2015, Apple Pay, Android Pay, CurrentC and Samsung Pay are emerging payments services in the U.S. See Apple Pay, Android Pay, CurrentC and Samsung Pay.
The "Next Big Thing"
When the Internet exploded in the 1990s, a variety of Web-based payments systems were developed; however, except for PayPal, most were abandoned. The distinct advantage of smartphones is that people generally have them while shopping, and built-in fingerprint readers add a significant level of security.
The primary technology used in mobile payments is near field communication (NFC), which allows a person to pass the phone over a terminal to quickly pay for merchandise. Many Android phones included NFC, and Apple finally added it with the iPhone 6. Barcodes can also be displayed on the phone and scanned by the merchant's terminal or vice versa. See NFC and barcode.
Like any "next big thing," mobile payments have to overcome the chicken-egg conundrum. The more retailers adopt a system, the more people use it, and the more people use it, the more merchants come on board. To fully embrace mobile payments, physical stores will have to support multiple systems. See mobile check deposit, Web payments service, digital wallet and smartphone wallet.