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Pay with your iphone

Starbucks is expanding its test drive of a new payment option with target, one where you pay with your phone. Its an application that you download to your iphone, and acts like a gift card, deducting a sum from a pre-paid amount. This new feature is branching out to a little over 1,000 stores.

While the concept of paying with your phone isn’t revolutionary, Starbucks is becoming one of the first brands to begin incorporate it their business. Its an exciting thing to see, since most of us never leave home without our cell phones, but might occasionally leave our wallet. Yet, the thought of someone stealing my phone – or loosing my phone, leads to some hesitations about this technology.

Researching this pay with your phone technology further, I discovered how a few companies here in the US are handleing hesitations like mine.

TextPayMe is a company that allows you to pay people via texting. For example if I owed you $25, and your telephone number was 123-456-7890, then I’d text “pay 25 1234567890”. Following that text, there’d be a confirmation of sorts, where I’d be prompted to enter a pin number. Entering in the pin number is the only way the transaction will occur.

Obopay has a service that acts like a debit card. The people receiving and sending funds would need to have the Obopay service. If you are a sender, your transaction is again protected by a pin number.

While these technologies are more focused on texting, their solution does provide some reassurance. Entering a pin number for payment on your phone is no different that than doing so for a debit card pin or an ATM card pin after swiping.

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