New Ways of Paying

Gauging from this week’s news stories, change is in the air for payment systems. Google unveiled its mobile payment system named Google Wallet. The software will run on Google Android handsets and allow users to tap their phone on a pad at check out counters to pay for merchandise. Google Wallet can store credit cards, offer discounts, link to loyalty rewards, and eventually even hold tickets and keys. Shortly after Google’s announcement, PayPal filed a lawsuit against Google for stealing its electronic wallet trade secrets. Meanwhile, a joint venture between Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo will soon allow many bank customers to transfer funds to others through email and mobile phones. If the new service, called clearXchange, is well received, it’s likely to put PayPal out of business. The young tech company, Square, made its mark in the commerce industry when it introduced software and a card reader that allows anyone to process credit card purchases on a smart phone. Now Square is taking the next step with iPad software that replaces a cash register. Square’s new point-of-sale iPad software manages inventory, automates checkout, and creates digital receipts. Customers either pay by swiping a credit card or transfer payment information from their smart phone. The smart phone software named Card Case, allows customers to pay by simply saying their name. The wireless connection between the smartphone and iPad take care of the rest.

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