A mobile payment is a payment performed through a mobile phone. There are various forms of mobile payment including SMS, Direct Billing, Mobile Web Payments, and Near Field Communication. As mobile technology and smart phones become more advanced, accessible, and secure, the use of mobile payments is expected to increase significantly.
SMS: In a SMS (short messenger service) payment, a text messages is sent to a specified number. Most commonly these transactions are for digital goods like music or ringtones.
Direct Mobile Billing: This form of mobile payment involves making a purchase on an e-commerce site via mobile phone with a password and pin. No credit card information is necessary, as any payment is placed on the mobile carrier bill.
Mobile Web Payments: In this mobile payment, a user either makes a payment via a mobile webpage or application that is linked to a credit card account.
Near Field Communication: NFC is using a mobile device that contains a smart card to pay for items at a physical location. A consumer can wave their cellphone close to a reader device in order to make a payment. Reading modules, such as MasterCard PayPass, are becoming more prevalent but are still limited. Recently, Google launched Google Wallet which allows users to send credit card and gift card information when making a payment at a store (see video below).
Example of Mobile Payment: Google Wallet
Example of Mobile Payment: Square
Square is a payment service that allows merchants to accept credit payment directly on their mobile device. A small device is attached to the mobile phone so users can swipe a credit card and accept payment through the Square application.