Overview of Mobile Payments in the United States

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Mobile payments technology is poised to create a globally dramatic shift in how individuals pay for goods and services, track spending, and manage personal finances. Mobile payments are also becoming big business for non-financial institution alternative payments. Add the fact that many of these services are offered by non-financial institutions that are “disintermediating” the traditional banking relationship, and there is the potential for a fundamental shift in how individuals conduct day-to-day purchasing and interact with their finances.

In the US, financial institutions have, over the past several years, rolled out mobile banking products via short message service (SMS) text messaging and smart phones. Many of these products are extensions of online banking offerings, and some are new and innovative, such as “deposit by phone” services with which customers deposit checks by taking photos of the checks with their smart phones.

Originally published in Banking & Financial Services in August 2013.

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