Your smartphone goes everywhere with you. Before you leave the house, you take your wallet (maybe a purse), your keys, and your smartphone. You used to take your mp3 player everywhere as well, now your phone does that. You used to wear a watch, but again, your phone takes care of that now; ditto for your laptop. Would it not be great to be able to eliminate a few more things from your daily carry? The technology they keep cramming into the cell phone is making our lives easier by both performing functions better, and eliminating the need for stuff. What if you no longer needed your wallet at all? Is there really anything credit cards, debit cards, identification cards, and cash can do that a mobile device cannot? I really do not think so-in fact, I know so. Mobile commerce is already here and changing the way we make transactions.
People today are making purchases, controlling their automated homes, completing financial transactions, and even using their cell phones as tickets to gain access to concerts and mass transit. Personally, I am trying to minimize the load I take around with me every day. I would rather not risk losing my credit and banking cards, so I use as many apps as I can on my phone that will replace those things. Another great thing about these apps is that many of them require some form of biometric authentication to complete a transaction. We all began buying things online with the phones, now we can shop as easily in brick and mortars as we do in the virtual storefronts. You can even scan items in the real world, compare prices, and learn other things relevant to the product.
Even small businesses can benefit from the unique advantages of mobile commerce. A small business person can allow the smartphone to be the point of sale system making the receiving of payment from customers so much easier and affordable. Receipts can even be automatically emailed or text messaged to the customer. No matter how small time the business is, they all will look uniformly professional and serious to the person they are collecting payment from. Businesses also can have these transactions integrated with external systems such as accounting and customer service, allowing the business to track everything important, and let other departments of the company do their job easier because they get the best source material for information available-an individual record created at the moment of sale.
Some people are a bit squeamish when it comes to doing serious transactions electronically, and I do not blame them, but I believe those fears can be somewhat overblown. If anything, m-commerce makes things safer and more secure. Biometric keys and some document authentication processing occurring on servers in between the customer and the institution actually reduce opportunity for fraud and theft. The days of a low level employee eyeballing an ID card for authorization or accepting a one hundred dollar bill are over, thankfully.
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