Thursday, February 09, 2006

RFID: Motorola M-Wallet

Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2006, Using Your Cellphone as a Credit Card
"Motorola Inc. is planning to launch a system that will allow people to purchase products simply by waving a cellphone with an embedded chip over scanners at the cash register. Motorola is the first telecom-equipment maker to launch a large-scale mobile-wallet service in the U.S.

Before the service can be launched here, though, Motorola has to overcome several significant obstacles. First, it must cut a deal with a wireless carrier. Motorola... says it is in 'advanced discussion' with several cellphone companies and expects a deal later this year. ... Motorola also will have to get retailers to participate and in some cases to invest in upgrading their checkout scanners to communicate with phones equipped with embedded chips.

Initially, M-Wallet will be limited to banking transactions... as well as purchases from participating retailers such as airlines and movie houses. But Motorola says that in six to nine months, when a special chip for the phones is available, consumers will be able to pay for groceries and other things using the scanners at the cash register."

In the article and on Motorola's website the M-Wallet is described only as an "embedded chip", "encrypted chip", and "special chip". RFID is not specifically mentioned, nor is any other technology. Why not?



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