Mobile payments are hot these days. Here’s the latest for Verizon Wireless subscribers: They’re getting a new billing option for online purchases, thanks to the carrier’s just-announced partnership with Payfone.
When a user navigates to a shopping website inside the native browser, a new link will appear, giving shoppers the option to tack the charge onto their monthly carrier bills. For big ticket items, Payfone accounts will also be linkable to credit cards, and there’s no software or app to download; the option appears automatically.
Of course, Verizon Wireless shoppers can still conduct standard credit card purchases, but the carrier is betting that people will welcome the Payfone option. It features higher levels of security, since it relies on the mobile operator network and the global SS7 signaling network. Subscribers’ specific devices and locations can be linked to their accounts, so if there’s a different handset or a strange location involved in a transaction, the system will know and can head off fraud, identity theft and other risks.
The Payfone deal is the latest of several Verizon mobile transactions initiatives. The carrier signed on with Isis (along with T-Mobile and AT&t) to allow point-of-sale purchases in brick-and-mortar stores using cell phones. It is also a BilltoMobile partner since March of last year, and has relationships with mobile payments companies BOKU and Zong. Payfone itself also has other partners, including American Express, whose Serve payments platform has just been adopted by AOL.
Looks like the options for paying by cell phone are expanding. Are you excited by the convenience and flexibility of this, or are you more of a traditional credit card/cash type of shopper?