Many major lenders will soon begin implementing systems that allow consumers to make debit and credit card purchases by waving their smartphone over a sensor, and that will fundamentally change the entire industry, according to a report from CNN Money. While widespread use isn’t expected to be seen within a few years, the practice could gain a foothold among consumers by the end of this year.
“Your plastic card hasn’t changed since the age of the vinyl records,” Michael Abbott, CEO of the new mobile payment network Isis, told the news service. “This is the chance to bring payments forward from the plastic age and the vinyl records age to the digital age.”
Some studies have found that the mobile phone payment industry could be worth as much as $22 billion by 2015, despite having made almost nothing prior to the start of this year, the report said. Major financial institutions such as Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Citi and U.S. Bank are all expected to get in the game this year, and smartphones capable of completing these transactions – largely through near-field communication chips embedded in the handset – will be available from the nation’s three largest service providers, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.
Currently, consumer sentiment is somewhat undecided on the practice. Some studies have found that while younger Americans seem more accepting of the idea, the majority of shoppers aren’t sure they would trust the systems’ security.