Moto Debuts Credit Card Phone

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Motorola added a new feature on Wednesday to the already versatile cell phone: credit card capability.

The world?s second-largest cell phone maker unwrapped M-Wallet, a technology that allows users to pay bills, purchase products, or transfer money using their cell phones.

M-Wallet, a software application that consumers and merchants alike can download from the Internet, also allows retailers to market goods and services directly to customers? cell phones.

M-Wallet will work with any cell phone network, including GSM (global system for mobile communications), CDMA (code division multiple access), and with any device. The software is compatible with Symbian, PocketPC, Palm, J2ME (Java 2 Micro Edition), Brew, and SimTK.

?Mobile phones allow you to do more than a credit card,? said Mr. Sokhey. ?You can see your balance, your transactions, etc. It does not leave you with a pocketful of receipts. Even at this early stage, the mobile phone can do everything an ATM can do, except withdraw and deposit cash.?

According to Mr. Lee, products such as M-Wallet may be more likely to be adopted in Asia or Europe where ATMs and debit and credit cards are not as popular and ubiquitous as in the U.S.

?The U.S. is actually on the cutting edge of overspending on credit cards, so I suspect that the Motorola application would have to go much further before it takes off in the U.S.,? he said.

?Migrant workers in Asia are using mobile phones to bypass Western Union and send money back home, so creative companies can come up with applications that take advantage of Motorola?s application,? Mr. Lee added.

Motorola is in fact targeting the estimated $18 billion that is sent annually from the U.S. to Latin America by immigrants and migrant workers as one of its early markets.

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Source: Red Herring (link opens in a new window)