New technology allows smartphones to act as card readers
Having a repair person come to your house to set up your phone service or fix a leaky faucet invariably results in bills being mailed to you, sometimes weeks later, and these are one of the few times that you'll consider paying with a check. However, thanks to new technology by Apriva, repair and maintenance workers may soon have smartphones with card readers which can scan and process your credit card for on the spot payments.
Payment using a mobile phone is actually the norm in many parts of the world, and is only now becoming more widespread in the United States, as wireless providers make changes to allow this type of technology to work. AT&T has teamed up with Apriva to offer downloads of the AprivaPay Professional payment software to Windows Mobile phones, and this software will soon be available for the iPhone and BlackBerry as well. AprivaPay allows the user to engage in credit or debit card transactions using the phone browser, and additional hardware will be available to businesses who wish to equip their phones with credit-card readers and even receipt printers.
The utility of software like AprivaPay extends beyond paying for your new high-speed internet connection right after it's installed, however. AprivaPay is also developing software that will allow consumers to pay bills or handle bank transactions, via text message, which could be helpful to people who do not have regular access to desktop computers, or who do not live near a bank.
The easy access and low cost of mobile phones is what has made services like AprivaPay so popular in the rest of the world. For example, an estimated 41 million people use phone payment systems in Asia and the Pacific, according to a study by technological research firm Gartner, Inc. To put this into perspective, only about 1.9 million people in North America currently use similar payment methods.
As technology improves to allow credit cards to truly be used for any purchase, it is now more important than ever to ensure that you have good credit. Taking the time to compare interest rates and finding the card that works best for you will help you to take advantage of these technological breakthroughs.