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The Telecom Digest for November 15, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 290 : "text" Format
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Paying by smartphone (Monty Solomon)

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Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2011 06:52:55 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Paying by smartphone Message-ID: <p0624080acae654e65035@[]> No cash, card? No problem Paying by smartphone is an emerging trend By Michael B. Farrell Globe Staff / November 12, 2011 Is your wallet the next relic of the digital age? Why pay with cash or plastic when you can use a smartphone? That is what Ainsley Onstott did on a recent afternoon in Cambridge's Kendall Square. She simply showed her iPhone to pay for a sandwich at Sebastians Cafe. "They scan it, and I get my receipt e-mailed to me,'' said Onstott, 26, a special events manager at the American Heart Association. With about 35 percent of Americans carrying smartphones, the mobile commerce market is spreading fast. Anyone with an iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry can download an app for making purchases. And merchants can plug in credit card readers for on-the-spot sales. The trend is just emerging, but Boston technology start-ups, banks, credit card companies, telecommunication firms, and retailers are making big investments to make it easier for people to pay by phone. Earlier this week, Apple Inc. became the latest firm to make that happen when it introduced EasyPay, an app that enables Apple Store customers to buy products with an iPhone by using its camera as a bar code scanner. Mobile payments are just a sliver of retail sales. They accounted for $3 billion in sales in 2010, or 1 percent of e-commerce transactions, but they are expected to double this year and reach $31 billion by 2016, according to Forrester Research of Cambridge. Onstott, the Sebastians Cafe customer, used an app from LevelUp, a service launched in March by Cambridge social media gaming start-up SCVNGR. Its app gives smartphone users individualized Quick Response codes for merchants to scan. So far, LevelUp can be used at more than 180 places in the Boston area, from coffee shops to upscale restaurants. At Sebastians in Kendall Square, about 5 percent of customers use LevelUp, or about 600 customers a month. ... http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/11/12/cash_credit_card_and____smartphones_accepted/
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