In recent months, a large number of companies have turned their attentions to developing mobile payment systems that allow users to make credit card purchases using their smartphones, and soon, a large number of those platforms will be made available.
Though Google Wallet, the purchasing option from the Web giant, was launched earlier this year, competition in the mobile wallet world industry is expected to heat up considerably in the coming months as more companies developing these platforms make them available in widespread or even small-scale trials, according to a report from TIME Techland. Perhaps the most notable of these offerings is Isis, the mobile wallet system being developed as a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, which partnered with Visa and MasterCard, and recently added American Express, giving it access to all of the nation's three largest payment processing companies.
Isis will launch later this year for a pilot test in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, the report said. And when it does, it is expected to gain considerable traction with the general public because of the power of the companies behind it.
Meanwhile, another major wireless service provider (Sprint) has hitched its wagon to Google Wallet, the report said. Again, that system is currently available, but only on a limited basis, and can be used with credit, debit or even prepaid card accounts.
Phone companies aren't the only ones with skin in the game
But at the same time as mobile service providers are developing their services with participating credit card companies, those processors are also creating their own, the report said. For instance, MasterCard recently announced an extension of its swipeless credit card program PayPass, known as PayPass Wallet. That is expected to launch in the third quarter of the year, and will give financial institutions the ability to create their own programs under the PayPass umbrella.
At the same time, Visa, the world's largest processor of debit, credit and prepaid card transactions, recently announced that its V.me program, which currently only exists as an online payment option, will add near-field communications capabilities at some point in the relatively near future, the report said. NFC technology is the building block upon which mobile wallet technology is based.
Experts say that consumers who are concerned about the safety of their accounts when using mobile wallet systems have little to fear: The technology used to protect payment data on these platforms are far more advanced than traditional credit cards. However, those who want an extra layer of protection for their finances should take the time to check their credit reports regularly. Doing so will help them to find any unfair markings that may be adversely affecting their credit scores. Fortunately, working with a credit repair company can help to clear up these concerns in a relatively short period of time.