When will mobile wallets be reality in UK

Paypal UK seem to think that 2016 will mark the real start of money’s digital switchover in the UK. This based on a survey conducted with some UK retailers and 550 mobile shoppers. Of course this will not sound the end of cash but it will certainly change the way customers shop both online and in

the High Street. It will not be just mobile you can pay with either although they may be the most compact! There will be other devices available, it is envisioned you will ne able to pay with whatever device you are on wherever you are. It could be a mobile, tablet, PC, games console, or a whole lot more. An interesting thought, but it means the retailers will be able to devise novel ways of getting your attention and making it more attractive to shop with them versus another retailer.

Paypal App






How many of you know that Paypal as an App for your Android, iPhone and Blackberry. It was news to me and I consider  up to date on such things. Clearly, I am not as up to date as I thought. Anyway I thought I would write something about it for those of you like me who were not aware –  Paypal have some amazing stats on currents purchase and predicted purchases for 2011 – Admittedly this are all US$ and presumably US based data nevertheless the stats are impressive. One has to wonder what will happen when mobile wallets become more available. What is even more concerning if you are worried about your budget is the new Paypal App that has been just announced in US. It is only in trial stage at present in New York  but if you go to –, you can see what it is all about and how it looks.

The big problem is everyone is making it so easy to part with your money these days. Perhaps someone might think of an App to help you stop spending!




Google’s new mobile wallet

 Google has finally launched its mobile wallet in US of course. They have been trialing this new near field communication (NFC) technology since may 2011 in US. NFC allows for wireless connections, data exchange and simplified transactions between two devices in very close proximity, that’s the “near field” hence the name. The technology is linked to Mastercard for now but we are promised that Visa and American Express and Discovery are planned for future versions. Currently only the Nexus S smart phone, running the Google Android operating system is able to use this technology and you will need a Citi Mastercard or Google prepaid card as well, and be in US. All this is some way for anyone in Europe but don’t worry UK will be the first International market in the New Year.


In the past I have raised the security issue, I think it is still not fully resolved. However, we are told that transactions require a Mobile wallet 2Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the phone’s screen must be turned on, preventing covert or unwanted payment events, and the wallet function can also be disabled remotely. We will have to see how well this counters the hackers, I want to know what happens when the inevitable occurs and whether the cost is to be carried by me or someone else. What is the likely cost of insurance against fraudulent action? All these need to be answered before I buy into this new technology no matter how convenient.




If you want to know more about the various business and technological models which are being considered for the provision of mobile payments an the internationally renowned Business School in Barcelona (GFT and IESE) has looked in to this ( I refer you to this article titled “The Holy Grail: The Mobile Wallet”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

More about the Samsung – Apple legal case




There are more iterations on this ongoing battle royal between the Smartphone leaders. It would seem that Samsung are about launch another counter suit against Apple primarily to protect their home market in Korea.



But these two leaders might want to keep a close eye on HTC who might steel a march on them whilst they slog it out in the courts. The other beneficiaries will be the lawyers – what a surprise.




So as this battle goes on and probably will for sometime to come, the mind boggles at what the mounting legal costs will be – not small for sure.

More info on Mobile Wallets

The world is moving forward as far a mobile wallets is concerned.  Google has been one organisation looking into this opportunity, and now have sleeper chips in the Nexus S Android smartphones that will be switched on in certain markets within the coming weeks. The first to go live will be Los Angeles, Washington DC and Chicago. The UK has a similar trial underway and Google has its sights on UK early 2012, and then onto Europe.


Now what does all this mean for security, this is still not clear as the technology is still in the final phases of testing in the United States. Will our future mobile wallets have money deducted from them by hackers? It is still too early to tell, my advice is be very careful about rushing into this new opportunity. Wait until organisations promoting mobile wallets identify what safeguards are in place and who pays when security is breached. So be warned, and be careful before embracing this step forward.

Apple vs Android phone & tablet makers – UK likely to rule on Apple patents before Germany


This battle royal has been working its way through the European courts in the Netherlands and Germany, and is ongoing in UK as well.  The Android phone & tablet makers are battling with Apple over patents. The chances are it will be long drawn out battle with very high stakes as android devices are becoming increasingly popular. If the UK rule first it will impact on any German decision.

What does this mean for you and me owners of android technology, well if like me you already have an android device your OK for now. Later if the court rule in favour of Apple we will need to see. If the android market is as big as people say it will be then presumably android device manufacturers will probably pay royalties. The worst case scenario is I suppose that they decide to go down another route and stop android device production going forward – only time will tell. I will keep a watchful eye out on proceed and report back.

Any legal eagles who know about patent law out there might like to input here and through some light on what likely to happen – as I am but a humble android user with no legal background.


NFC smartphones get on the buses boost


Mobile wallet concept is getting closer with the announcement by UK’s largest transport operator, FirstGroup, that it will be installing contactless card readers to its fleet of approximately 5,000 buses across England in 2012. This is the first bus fleet outside London to announce such a move. Once installed customer s will be able to use contactless debit or credit cards and ITSO smartcards such as concessionary bus passes. The company said it was installing this to speed up how long it takes passengers to board – cutting journey times by around 10 per cent.

On the surface this seems a step forward, however I have to ask will this mean an increase in fares to help fund the installation costs – I will keep my eyes open for more information and post in a blog in the future.

Are Mobile web users at the end of tether?

Some of you may be asking what this is all about. Well for a while the new generation of mobiles and smartphones have the ability to act as mini Wi-Fi routers – this is called tethering. This means that you can link laptops, phones and tablets to them and gain access to the internet for these devices.

Alongside this mobile operators are reducing the number of unlimited data bundles available. This is because with the increasing use of smartphones, data usage has sky rocketed. So increasingly the data packages are capped at 500MB or 1GB. What some operators have decided to do at the same time is charge extra for the privilege of tethering. So if you have a 500MB data bundle on your smartphone and you decide to enable tethering on the phone. Your operator may charge you extra outside you data bundle for the privilege of tethering.

The reality is that we are all using mobiles to access the internet more and more, and web browsing is more data-intensive on larger devices – tablets can use twice as much data as a mobile phone.

So why are they doing this? Well their business model is based on mobile broadband access being conducted via dongles or mini Wi-Fi hubs (Mifis). If we use tethering it will make these redundant and result in loss of income stream. So they charge us for tethering.

Some operators such as O2 and 3 have offered tethering without extra charge since earlier this year and Vodafone has just begun including it on new and updated contracts. Orange only lets iPhone customers do it and both Orange and T-Mobile charge more for packages that allows a personal hotspot to be switched on.

So if you are thinking of tethering – forewarned is forearmed if you wish to kerb your mobile costs make sure you know what operators policy is on tethering.

45 per cent of UK Internet users have accessed the mobile web

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONC) has reported that almost half (45 per cent) of all Internet users have accessed the mobile web in 2011. This showed that 71% 0f 16-24 year old age group accessed the Internet via a mobile phone which should come as no surprise. This figure is up from 44 per cent in 2010. The group least likely to access the mobile web were net aged 65 or over. What is far more interesting is the fact that  4.9 million people, or 13 per cent of Internet users, connected to wireless hotspots provided in public places such as restaurants, hotels or airports.


Also the survey shows not surprisingly that Social Media website usage is increasing year on year especially by  younger age groups. Another concerning factor is that the disabled are not taking part in this increased usage of the internet. This is sad as it one means by which they could participate and have easy access to the internet and all it can do for them.

Post Riots: Stolen iPhones / Smartphones Would Be Locked



You should be aware that buying cheap mobiles from unknown or dubious dealers as you could end with a dud phone. All mobiles taken from retailers during the riots will be locked by manufacturers. So beware of buying cheap mobiles over the next few weeks – they may not work out that cheap if they do not work!