Mobile payments leap ahead, but consumers may not be ready

Wide availability of credit cards makes smartphone payments less appealing in U.S

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Scott Hudler, vice president of global consumer engagement at Dunkin', said via email that it was "essential to leverage the existing laser scanners in Dunkin' Donuts restaurants to provide guests with the speed and convenience of using the mobile payment app."

The technology will mean customers can make a Dunkin' run "more quickly than ever before," he added. Similar technology used by Starbucks didn't factor into the new Dunkin' offering, he said.

The app will help Dunkin' franchisees see reduced transaction fee costs, he said. "We are committed to offer the best guest experience and enabling our franchisees to run their restaurants as efficiently and effectively as possible," Hudler said.

Hudler said Dunkin' is "eager" to work with both Google and Apple in the future as both companies offer or enhance mobile payment platforms. "The Dunkin' App will continue to evolve, and we expect to release upgraded versions with new features a few times a year," Hudler said.

Google Wallet works with NFC on several smartphones sold by Sprint and by Google itself that interact with thousands of payment terminals nationwide. NFC requires a near touch of a smartphone to a terminal to transfer a payment.

On the other hand, Apple is rumored to be supporting Bluetooth 4.0 to make payment transfers from an app running on its next-generation iPhone, which would allow payments from a much farther distance, such as the center of a large store yards from a checkout counter.

Isis, a consortium of Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile USA, will also rely on NFC in smartphones. Isis puts the payment security element on a phone SIM card, a fundamental difference from Google, which embeds the security element in a chip in the phone's core instead.

Isis has announced various retailers and gas station pump payments with its NFC smartphones. Videos on the Isis Web site show various demonstrations of the payment technology, although it isn't clear when the promised "summer" launch in Salt Lake City and Austin will take place, and Isis officials won't say.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is

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Read more about mobile payments in Computerworld's Mobile Payments Topic Center.

This story, "Mobile payments leap ahead, but consumers may not be ready" was originally published by Computerworld.

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