Smartphones, the credit cards of the future

Hold on tightly to your smartphone - along with carrying highly identifiable personal information, it is about to replace your credit cards and become a primary method of payment... that is, if you haven't already had a smart chip installed in your wrist.

According to next-generation payment device maker Dynamics Inc., credit cards are set to get very smart in the next few years.

The company revealed its next-generation payment device in a card form factor at the FinovateFall 2010 conference in Manhattan on October 5. Called Redemption, the card "allows consumers to pay at the point of sale with credit or request to redeem their reward points or cash rewards toward the purchase of any item at any merchant."

"The face of the device is printed with a single credit account number and includes two buttons with associated light sources. A user can choose whether to use points or use credit at the point of sale by pressing the appropriate button. The card will then visually indicate the selection by turning ON the light source associated with the selected option," explained Dynamics.

Citibank in the US is currently trialing the card with selected clients and expects to expand the trial to additional US credit card customers in November.

While innovative companies are trialing new forms of credit card technologies, the mobile industry is in hot pursuit, developing new, more secure ways for you to bank with your mobile phone.

Technology blog Fast Company says that while consumers try to get their heads around the new intelligent piece of plastic that carries access to their life savings, the technology will be replaced by smartphones.

According to the blog both Apple and Nokia have been patenting in-phone RFID technologies.

RFID (radio-frequency identification) is a near-field communication tool that lets users transfer funds or information by swiping their device (such as a mobile phone) over an RFID reader.

"It seems increasingly certain Apple is going to bring RFID into common usage with the iPhone for 2011 (the iPhone 5) because there's a new patent that shows just how far Apple has gone with design thinking for RFID," writes Fast Company.

"The patent shows how an RFID loop, powerful enough to act as both RFID tag or a tag-reader, can actually be built right into the complex layered circuitry of the iPhone (or iPod Touch) screen."

Meanwhile, people still signing their fortunes away on paper (checks), will be brought into the future with a new mobile application feature released by PayPal on October 5. The iPhone application lets users take a photo of a check and deposits the money into their account.

http://www.fastcompany.com/1693165/credit-cards-to-go-electronic-then-disappear-wirelessly-into-iphone-screens

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2010/10/apple-patent-iphone-display-may-double-as-an-rfid-transponder.html

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paypal/id283646709?mt=8

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