iPhone-as-wallet: What you should know before taking the plunge

By , Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, iPhone, mobile payments

A lot of people are skeptical about using their iPhone as a wallet, but let's say you're game for it. What should you do to prepare?

Apple's e-wallet won't replace the one I'm sitting on

Let's start with the most obvious item on your checklist: Remote wipe. Most big smartphones, whether you're talking about the iPhone 4 or any device with Android Version 2.2 or higher, have the ability to let users remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen devices. This is obviously very important for any device that can make mobile payments since you'll need to quickly get any critical financial information off your device if it falls into someone else's hands. If you haven't familiarized yourself with this feature on your iPhone, you'll certainly want to do so before making any payments with it.

But you shouldn't feel secure only having remote wipe since it's entirely possible that it could take you hours to realize you've lost your smartphone - after all, remember what happened with the poor iPhone coder who lost a prototype of the iPhone 4 in a bar. So in addition to remote wipe, you're also going to make sure you have a password system on your device that both requires complexity and has time-out features in place that will lock the phone for a certain amount of time if you enter the wrong password multiple times. And of course, you'll need to be ready to cancel any credit cards whose information you've stored on your phone. In other words, using your smartphone as a payment platform could be a real hassle if you aren't careful.

"The stakes are up now," says Frank Kenney, the vice president of global strategies at business software vendor Ipswitch. "Not only do you need to be more proactive, you need to be willing to do things like remote wipe your phone and you need to go back in and start to cancel cards through your phone."

Kenney also thinks that banks or credit card companies will have to develop applications that give mobile users more ready access to their account information so they can learn quickly whether an erroneous payment has been charged to their account.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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