Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In future America, smartphone has you – and this is a good thing

Wet behind the ears says

Independent of operator billing, using phones should massively cut
down on credit card fraud. If your credit card is a fully-functional
computer that can verify its owner interactively, then one can use a
different “credit card number” for every transaction… And we’d no
longer be in this silly situation where merely knowing a 16-digit number
(plus a guessable expiration date and zip code) enables people to
impersonate others in purchases

The rub in that is “verify its owner” of course, but that is a problem to which there are already solutions and more in the pipeline. I envision a future where the check folio at a restaurant has an NFC unit and a net link back to the restaurant server; it sends the bill to the smartphone (at this point, just a phone), and the phone return a one-use token that has the authorization for the restaurant to bill x dollars of bill+tip to the diner’s financial institutio; and other such transactions. This, incidentally, protects both sides – the payer’s authentication information never leaves their control, and the payee can immediately verify funds-available. (Yes, this requires that the payee have internet access. It’s the 21st century, folks).

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