Thursday, October 6, 2011

NFC vs. Mag Stripe

Who cares? Did you ever go to a Mag Stripe conference? Why are there so many conferences now focused on NFC? Stupid question! Because it is the latest bandwagon and therefore conference organizers jump on it. What really matters? It isn't the technology. It is the simple fact that the mobile phone is adding more and more value to our lives and regardless of the technical bridge used, it is obvious that using our phones as a proxy for our payment credentials has great promise. Freeing consumers from having to carry around a lot of cash or providing (hopefully) responsible consumers with a credit facility is what matters. This matters to both consumers and merchants. So, lets all stop worrying about which technology is going to win and give the consumers and merchants what they want. Bar codes, mag stripes, NFC, OTA are all going to co-exist for a very long time. Damn, I was at a resort recently and they still used an old knuckle buster to capture my credit card info. p.s. They had advanced to the carbonless version of the sales draft!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I am in the midst of reading a new (& well written) whitepaper on Mobile Payments from the Smart Card Alliance.

I came across this defition of transaction sizes; " Transaction Size
Transaction size affects the choice of mobile payment technology and approach. Mobile payments typically fit into one of two transaction size categories. Micropayments (less than $10-$25) are typical for paying for ring tones, music, parking, transit, coffee, and items in convenience stores. Macropayments (over $25) are typical for all other transactions, such as person-to-person domestic and international remittances, charitable donations, Web site purchases, bill payment and retail POS."

I see things here a little differently. I have always thought of micropayments as $1-$2 in size, minipayments as $3-$7 and normal or as they say macropayments as $8+.

What are your thoughts?