Fundamental Smartphone Features Likely to Play a Role in Payments

Those of us who have owned a smartphone for five-plus years have probably begun to take some of its features for granted (which has made breaking your smartphone that much more of a traumatic experience). With instant access to web information and communication mediums, it seems as if there isn’t a thing the smartphone can’t do. Below are just a couple features that have (or will) become fundamental to the average smartphone user, all of which have mobile payment applications.

Location-Based Services
It took some time, but software developers finally realized the value of GPS in smartphones through navigation, social media and business searching applications. Brick-and-mortar outlets like Payless and 7-Eleven that push deals to consumers when they are nearby can eventually team up with mobile payment solutions as shoppers obtain and redeem coupons all through a single interface.


How convenient is being able to reply to work-related e-mails from your phone on the weekend without having to head into the office? Or, being able to retrieve an order confirmation number while away from your computer. From a payments perspective, e-mail is instrumental in the storage of digital receipts, and in Google Wallet’s case, a facilitator of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.

Apps like Snapchat and Vine enjoy the sharing capability that smartphones deliver in tandem with the camera. Photos stored on smartphones are easily transferrable through e-mail, text or social media. Banks have pounced on the use of smartphone cameras for remote deposit of checks (RDC) and have seen remarkable adoption rates over the past year.

Contact List
Smartphones allow for the storage of a contact’s photo, physical address, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and social media accounts, making interaction with that individual substantially easier than through a standard cell phone. As bank account information becomes more secure, it can be encrypted and added to a contact’s profile, enabling easy P2P payments and fund transfer.

Near Field Communication (NFC)

No, it’s not here yet for the iPhone, but NFC is primed to change the way smartphone users retrieve data at the point of interaction (POI) with local businesses. NFC tags can be deployed most anywhere in commercial districts, with data transmission as simple as a wave of a smartphone. As you can imagine, NFC is primed to support endless solutions for payments at the physical point-of-sale.

The list of payment-enabling smartphone features goes on. The calendar on your smartphone can be employed as a means of scheduling payments while text messaging is yet another facilitator of P2P payments (and also happens to be the primary method of payment in countries like Nigeria). Provided with these value-add features, one should not underestimate the smartphone as a tool for payments and other consumer activities as mobile becomes a bigger part of our daily lives.

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