Mobile Payments Trialled In Spain

Sitges mobile shopping

Another day, and news of another mobile payment trial, this time taking place in Sitges, near Barcelona in Spain.

The Sun (!!!) reports that 1,500 locals have been given a Samsung S5230 phone fitted with special SIM cards and security chips that can be used at 500 businesses, and the results have been promising; more than half of the users are still paying for items with their phones, with an average payment of more than £26. Participants will get to keep their phones at the end of the trial.

The trial is a collaboration between payment giant VISA, mobile phone operator Telefonica, and the Spanish bank Caixa.

For payments of less than 20 Euros, the phone can simply be swiped across the special reader. For payments of more than 20 Euros, a PIN umber will need to be entered. Phones can either be pre-loaded with cash or they can be linked directly to a bank account, replacing debit cards.

How it works

The next generation of mobile phones will already have specially-made SIM cards featuring an “app” for mobile shopping payments.

Users follow simple on-screen instructions either to pre-load their mobile with funds, like a pay-as-you-go phone, or to link the app directly to a bank account.

When buying, the cashier scans in a purchase and the mobile is swiped over the terminal. A beep registers the sale and users get the message “Accepted” – or “Declined” if the account is already maxed out.

Last week we reported on a new mobile payment trial taking place on the New York transport system, using similar technology. Gradually we are starting to see more and more mobile payment systems taking shape, but you have to wonder whether there needs to be a common system for all if it’s to go mainstream.

One thought on “Mobile Payments Trialled In Spain

  1. I think this is a good idea but don’t you think this would lead to a rather sharp increase in mobile phone robbery. Mobile commerce is the next big thing but the security implications need to be thoroughly thought through.

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