Mobile carriers really do have their hands full. They hold the future of pretty much all of our communications in their hands, and while Verizon customers seem pretty satisfied, AT&T is famous for disappointing customers, particularly those fickle iPhone users.
While incompetence and high charges are the norm, the carriers are planning to take over other profitable sectors.
Mobile payment systems are commonplace in the Scandinavian countries and Japan, but have been slow to take off in North America.
The basic functionality would be that stores, vending machines and even two mobile devices could be equipped to provide secure transactions, allowing users to pay for purchases using their smartphone.
So far virtual payment systems have leveraged existing systems such as credit cards, but AT&T and Verizon are hoping to cut out the middle man and rake in all those additional fees themselves.
The system is being tested in Atlanta and three other US cities right now, and could see widespread adoption in less than five years.
In my opinion, the only people I’d trust less than Visa and MasterCard with my credit history is the mobile carriers. That said, banking and finances have been slow to adopt technology to help move money around quicker and more efficiently, and anything that aids that can only be a good thing.