The mobile payment revolution continues to heat up. This week Microsoft announced plans to jump into the mobile payment game with the launch of Windows Phone 8. Due out this fall, Windows Phone 8 will include support for NFC payment technology and an official mobile wallet application. This built-in app will store users credit cards and debit cards, as well as tickets, boarding passes, and coupons.
Microsoft’s recent announcement follows news that Apple has included a built-in mobile wallet called Passbook in the new version of iOS – the operating system which powers Apples mobile devices.
Passbook makes it easy to store movie tickets, rewards cards, coupons and even boarding passes all in one place on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Apple also wants to make it easy for businesses to incorporate their own cards, coupons and tickets into Passbook.
Google is also attempting to take on the physical wallet with their own mobile wallet which launched last year. Google Wallet continues to face serious hurdles after supporting just one Android phone at launch, which was only available to Sprint customers. However, Google is said to be working on a 2.0 version of their mobile wallet which is rumored to be due out sometime this year and may support more devices on more carriers.
With all three tech giants all betting heavily on mobile payments and integrating this new technology it into the core of their products and services, a major shift away from the physical wallet is finally here. If history tells us anything, it’s that new technology likes to follow an exponential curve. By the time we are talking about a major change or shift in technology, it is usually already upon us. Welcome to the future of payments.