TECH

Boku Stickers Turn Your Phone Into A Digital Wallet

23/02/2012 08:38 | Updated 23 April 2012

Plans for a new payment system allowing people to use their mobile phone as a "digital wallet" were outlined today.

Those who sign up for an account with US-based payments company Boku will receive a sticker for the back of their phone that allows them to pay for goods at participating shops by swiping the handset on a reader.

They will also get a smartphone app, compatible with iPhones and Android devices, that tracks spending and allows transfers of money to other Boku account holders.

The service also provides a standard MasterCard debit card which can be used in the traditional way.

Boku said it had set up a trial of the service with an un-named "major mobile carrier" in the UK and hoped to announce a partnership later this spring.

Interest in the mobile payments sector is set to grow this year.

Last week, Barclays launched its Pingit app, which will enable adults across the UK to transfer cash as easily as texting from next month, regardless of who they bank with.

Meanwhile, the Payments Council, which oversees payments in the UK, is building a database to help banks and building societies offer a service to customers who sign up enabling them to transfer cash using mobile phone numbers. This database will be in place before the end of the year.

Rachel Springall, spokeswoman for comparison website Moneyfacts, said: "Customers may already be familiar with the contactless payment technology that was launched in the last four years and has also been integrated into some smart phones for low purchase transactions."
She said the introduction of Boku accounts would enable customers to buy goods and services and not just transfer funds from one account to another.

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