Monday, March 06, 2006

Motorola's M-Wallet Offers Two Forms Of Mobile Phone Scan

Cell phones to double as credit cards and so much more.

A customer walks into Wal-Mart and buys a set of dishes by swiping their cell phone — which has been loaded with the shopper's credit or debit card information — past the checkout scanner. (Permission was granted by this "pull" action).

The article doesnt say how or what they can scan, unless it's assumed it will be an RFID tag.

A day later, a text message arrives: a coupon for $20 off a new set of silverware redeemable at Wal-Mart. (Ad came via "push" action)

Motorola is developing a new service, called M-Wallet, that will allow cell phones to double as credit or debit cards. Credit information, downloaded to subscriber's phones, will let people make purchases with their mobile phones.

As for financial benefits, users can pay bills, manage their finances, transfer money to friends and make purchases.

Coupons, sweepstakes and other promotions can be offered based on consumers' retail preferences. Getting the consumer to scan an item is how permission is granted to deliver these mobile ads.

Schaumburg, IL-based Motorola was in advanced talks last month to strike deals with wireless carriers, financial institutions and retailers willing to use the technology. It had three trials underway at a retailer that Weisner declined to disclose.

The M-Wallet service could be downloaded from various cell phone companies Web sites and used on multiple devices, including Palm Pilots, Blackberrys and cell phones not made by Motorola.

The service is expected to be in consumers' hands in the second quarter, with scanning capabilities available within six to nine months once chips are embedded in the phones that can interact with the scanners. The reader at the checkout scans the mobile phone to transfer the appropriate info.

The technology works with GSM/CDMA/iDEN and is compatible with Symbian, Pocket PC, Palm, J2ME, BREW and SimTk phones.

No comments: