Mobile wallets may be arriving sooner than expected

mobile wallets
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mobile wallets

This is placing greater pressure on retailers to upgrade their point of sale terminal security.

Though mobile wallets and other types of payment systems have been dragging their heels in the United States, falling short of many expectations, the launch of ISIS in Austin and Salt Lake City could propel the adoption of the service forward.

This could make it even more important for retailers to meet their upgrade deadlines.

So far, the launches of the leading mobile wallets have been based on near field communication (NFC) technology. This means that there are currently nine common smartphone models that will be able to support the services, and that iPhones are notably absent from that list.

The launch of ISIS has the potential to spark adoption of mobile wallets among consumers.

The fact that there are now additional players joining the market and that Google isn’t the only major company in the game may make a difference to consumer awareness and adoption. However, another important factor that may start to send the technology further will be the adoption of NFC point of sale terminals by American retailers.

There is currently a deadline of October 2015 for U.S. retailers to upgrade their point of sale terminals to become NFC ready, and to boost the security of that technology. This, combined with an increasing number of consumers who will have smartphones that are actually equipped with the NFC chips will make the services much more available and will therefore make it more convenient to use.

The 2015 deadline is being pushed by all of the big credit card companies, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Each is hoping that retailers will make the upgrades to their payment terminals in order to accept the new form of contactless payments from mobile wallets on smartphones that have NFC chips.

According to the companies involved in the various mobile wallets, the point of sale terminals equipped with NFC will be notably more secure than the traditional terminals based on magnetic stripe card swipes. The new terminals will also be compatible with contactless smart cards which contain chips that store the necessary payment information.

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