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Archive for the ‘microSD’ Category

Your phone is your credit card

In Digital Flash Media, microSD, Mobile Payment, SD on August 24, 2010 at 10:59 am
Mobile phone manufacturers market share in Q3-...

Image via Wikipedia

A handful of companies are pushing the case for the phone to be your payment medium. I am not talking about the likes of Obopay who primarily another level of middlemen between the money and the recipient. My focus is on companies miniaturizing antenna technology to fit in the microSD formfactor. The storage device now doubles as an NFC device. It draws power when placed in the microSD slot of the cell phone.

The 2008 market share looks really old but it is true that iPhone still comes under the ‘others’ portion of the world wide pie. An estimated 60% of the phones used in the US come with a microSD slot.

Tyfone, based in Portland, Oregon, aims to bring all your financial (and identity) data to your cell phone through their microSD based ecosystem. Their selling point stems from the disparity between mobile carriers and financial institutions in the US. This is best explained by their CTO, Siva Narendra, in the video below.

Tyfone’s SideTap SD memory cards have undergone extensive and successful trials with multiple partners over the last 18 months. In the coming months, consumers will be able to purchase SideTap MicroSD memory cards and use them at major retailers. Tyfone will soon announce partnerships that will make the first wave of this important payment technology available for consumers, financial institutions and retailers.

DeviceFidelity, on the other hand, has focussed on becoming the credit card equivalent for NFC enabled storage devices. They have already partnered with Visa to provide In2Pay solutions to all types of cellphones including the iPhone. CEO, Deepak Chain, cited In2Pay’s open architecture as the hassle free approach to introduce mobile payment programs into the existing infrastructure.

Bank of America now provides a microSD based VISA card. It is not clear who the technology implementer is.

Wireless Dynamics were the first to get into the development of SD based NFC solutions but slipped out of my radar in recent times. A quick visit to their website identifies them as a design and manufacturing group. Probably that’s where their strengths are.

Your memory card will soon be your credit card and will enjoy their best days before NFC becomes native to cellphones. Either way, loosing your phone will become akin to loosing your wallet. Take care.

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