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Financial institutions prepare for mobile payments [New Orleans CityBusiness (LA)]
[May 20, 2011]

Financial institutions prepare for mobile payments [New Orleans CityBusiness (LA)]

(New Orleans CityBusiness (LA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Advancements in technology are set to change the way customers pay for things, and telecommunication companies and financial institutions are readying themselves for the next big thing: the mobile payment revolution.

It would allow customers to pay for purchases by waving their cellphones in front of ATMs and card machines, a process already popular in Canada, Europe, Asia and South America.

"The next thing that will happen is your cell phone will be your wallet," said Guy Williams, CEO of Gulf Coast Bank and Trust. "When you get ready to pay, you'll go to a pay screen. The best example is Exxon has that mobile pass." AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless announced late last year plans to form a national mobile commerce network in the United States. Google included mobile payment capabilities on its Android and Nexus S smartphone, and Samsung has included NFC in its next-generation Galaxy S handset.

Williams said banks and financial institutions are waiting for merchants to equip themselves with the mobile technology.

"We'll have it when merchants are ready," Williams said. "It's one of those things that will start and pop up real fast." A January report from the National Retail Federation acknowledges mobile phone payments as a necessary way of doing business in the future.

The mobile technology is pegged as a more convenient way for shoppers to pay for purchases as well as cut down on ATM fraud including debit and credit card "skimming," which experts estimate cost consumers and banks more than $1 billion a year.

(c) 2011 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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