Tesco Tech Support Blog

Is your money mobile?

Now that the majority of mobile phones sold are smartphones, we’re all familiar with using our handsets to do much more than make calls. We use our phones to email, surf the web, watch videos and even read books or a newspaper.

The only thing that hasn’t really caught on yet is using a mobile phone as a cashless purse or wallet, paying for goods and services directly from your handset without going near your bank details. That could be all about to change thanks to two big announcements today.

In the first announcement, O2 has said that it’s partnering with Isobar Create London to sponsor a competition for app developers to create interesting uses for Near Field Communications (NFC). NFC is a short range wireless networking technology which enables smartphones to be used at payment terminals that can accept contactless credit cards. It’s as safe as using a debit card, and can carry other information too – so you can swipe your phone to pick up ticketing details or extra information about a display, for example.

Meanwhile, Barclays Bank has also launched a new mobile payments service called Barclays PingIt. This smartphone application allows Barclays customers to transfer money from their account to another enabled Barclays PingIt account without accessing their online banking pages. It’s fast, and Barclays says it’s ideal for giving friends money when you don’t have enough cash – for example, when splitting a restaurant bill at the end of a meal.

PingIt should work with other bank accounts soon, too, in much the same way as Visa’s Debit services.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of paying for things with your mobile phone, however, why not try out some of the applications that are available today? Pizza Express, for example, has an app which enables you to pay your bill at the table using PayPal, without having to summon a waiter and card machine over.

If the future of money is truly mobile, today’s been a big day for making it happen.

Check out more stories on NFC technology: