A Visa in your cell phone?

About a week ago I saw this article and wanted to blog about it, try but I hadn’t gotten around to it until today.

Basically the credit card behemoth Visa has partnered with cell phone maker Nokia to launch a pilot payment program. Visa embeds a smart card in your cell phone that uses radio frequencies to transmit your cell phone data to the reader. When you want to make a payment, visit web you wave your cell phone in front of the card reader and your payment is processed. No more archaic pulling a credit card out of your wallet and swiping it at the terminal.

I hope that the technology is more secure than it sounds. I hope that in order to complete the transaction you have to enter a PIN number to verify that you intended to make a purchase. This security measure would ensure that somebody couldn’t hide a card reader and take your money without your knowledge.

Truth be told, prescription the whole thing sounds sort of silly to me. Why would I want my cell phone to also be a credit card? Why would Visa invest in something like this? Here’s my guess: it sounds like you only get to use one card. If your cell phone is encoded to your Visa card, and that is the easiest way to pay, then what card are you going to use most often?

I’ll tell you what I’d do: keep my cell phone in my pocket and reach for my wallet so I can use my Discover card.

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