Pay With Your Cellphone

Cell phones are becoming the payment medium of choice for many people in a wide variety of situations. For example, some nightclubs in London have a nifty trick for identifying VIP guests. The club sends an entry pass in the form of a kind of barcode to the patron's mobile phone. The code is scanned from the screen on the phone by the bouncer at the entrance.

In Atlanta, Hawks' fans are able to use specially adapted Nokia handsets linked to their Visa cards to buy refreshments at the stadium more quickly.

In Australia, it is already possible to go through your day and never use a credit card or cash; use your mobile phone for most transactions.


(Cellphone payment system in Korea)

In Japan, transactions as varied as purchasing railway tickets and buying groceries are handled by passing your mobile phone handset over a device like the one shown above.

Many of these systems use Near Field Communication, a short-range wireless technology developed by Sony and NXP. It works by magnetic field induction; once the phone (or other device containing an NFC chip) is passed within twenty centimeters of the device, the chip "okay's" specified transactions.

Science fiction fans have seen this one before. In the Shadowrun cyberpunk-urban game, players use cred-sticks for payment in any situation. Fans of Dan Simmons' 1989 novel Hyperion might remember the universal credit card.

The earliest exact reference I know about from sf (or anywhere else) comes from the prescient 1965 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot by Frederik Pohl. In the novel, the joymaker (a combination PDA, cellphone and information network browser that is still way ahead conceptually of Apple's iPhone) can be used to make purchases:

To use your joymaker as a credit card: You must know the institutional designation and account spectrum ...
(Read more about Pohl's cellphone credit card)

Nice article on the future of payment at the Economist; thanks to Zac Hunter for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/16/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.' - Bruce Sterling, 1985.

Bot Tweets Venmo Drug Transactions
An alarming item to find on your twitter feed.

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'- Philip Jose Farmer, 1967.

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?' - Richard Morgan, 2003.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.