New ways to make payments electronically continue to pop up around the world. London transit riders, for example, can now tap a debit card on an electronic reader to pay the fare on the subway system. Swedish fast food aficionados can buy a hamburger at McDonald’s and Burger King with their cellphones. And in Kenya, consumers are using a cellphone-based money transfer and microfinancing service to pay utility and other bills.
So reports The New York Times in an article suggesting that other parts of the world are ahead of the U.S. in embracing fast, secure and interconnected solutions for making electronic payments. One reason cited for the U.S. lagging behind is that the supersize American economy makes the equipment investment in payment systems more onerous for retailers. Disagreement among technology providers over what standard to use for mobile payments is also an obstacle.
The Times piece is part its The Future of Money package. Included is another article that talks about embedding a microprocessor into credit cards to enhance security. The piece points to SCC Global Partner MasterCard as one of the industry leaders able to embed cards with smart chips that can authenticate the card user.
Moving toward digital money transactions is regarded as an important development among smart city advocates. Electronic payment instruments have the ability to ensure secure, verifiable, and quick and convenient transactions, and interoperate with a variety of IT systems. The Smart Cities Readiness Guide can help you understand more about the benefits of smart payments. The Readiness Guide is free with your one-time SCC registration.