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Credit cards versus the mobile wallet

January 19, 2011

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My recent post on Intuit giving away free mobile credit card readers for smartphones has received a decent amount of reader comments via back-channel discussion.  My mention of PayPal Mobile SMS payments near the bottom of the post seemed to draw particular attention.

One of my readers, Peter Mancini (a former colleague from my days at Digital Reasoning Systems), brought up some good points about mobile card readers versus paying with a hardware or software based mobile wallet.

Pete noted the widespread adoption of credit cards, the ease of losing a device and the user unfriendliness of locking up a phone with passwords, and the known wireless hacks that have accumulated through the years.  In his words:

The point of the card reader is that it’s the most likely form of payment people are going to have on them at most non-online venues.  I know too much about hacking to ever keep vital payment information available on my easily losable smartphone.  I don’t want to make it so I have to tightly lock up the phone with passwords.  It already is a pain that I have to swipe it to unlock the screen every time. Also, I’ve seen Bluetooth hacking in action so I wouldn’t trust it anyway to keep my payment information secure.

Click here to read how I addressed his points on the complete PayPal X Developer Network blog post. You can also access all of the links referenced in the post by visiting this bit.ly bundle.

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