BlackBerry bought a ‘cashless’ society even closer yesterday when it launched the first of its smartphones with new technology that allows credit card details to be loaded onto them. BlackBerry owners will now be able to make ‘contactless’ payments in shops across Britain, including Pret A Manger, McDonalds and Boots by waving device against a reader in-store. Manufacturer Research In Motion released details of the new technology which allows card details to be loaded onto a BlackBerry Bold 9900 or 9930. Users can then make payments of up to £15 by waving it against a reader in-store. The new BlackBerry Torch 9810, which does not contain the technology, was also unveiled.
All three of the new BlackBerry phones have the new Operating System 7, with a 1.2 GHz processor from Qualcomm and a much improved screen display. An added bonus is that the browser for the new phones is 40 per cent faster than the original Torch which was launched a year ago. As studies have shown that one in eight of us now doesn’t.carry cash at all, preferring to use credit or debit cards for purchases, this is a smart move for Blackberry who have so far captured the market on the contactless payment system. However, it is thought that the Apple’s iPhone 5 is not far behind and will have incorporated their tap-and-pay technology by the end of December. You should also watch out for Google as they have announced that they plan to launch ‘Google Wallet’, which may take the form of an all-encompassing smartphone app for banking.
But are phone users about to give up their credit cards in favour of a mobile phone? Will speed and convenience out weigh the security that comes with using a credit card and all the safety issues that accompany it? Users may find that data could be compromised and feel that until the technical aspects are made clear, they will not be happy in testing this application further. It remains to be seen whether this new technology actually takes off and customers embrace it or chose not to use it.