Rather than using cash or a typical credit card, many tech-savvy consumers are relying on something very different to make payments these days: contactless payment solutions. While NFC
has grabbed the lion's share of the hype surrounding this movement, there are actually quite a few options when it comes to "tap-to-pay."
Serve, by American Express, is Verizon Wireless
' new approach to the payment method, and will soon be integrated on wireless phones and tablets. Serve is listed as a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, and in the coming months it will hit "select" devices on their network.
Over the coming months, Verizon Wireless customers will be able to establish Serve accounts that will enable them to make payments and redeem offers for goods and services directly from their mobile phones and tablets using Serve.
Serve simplifies the online checkout experience by authenticating a mobile number, then allowing a customer to make a purchase on-screen. Verizon Wireless customers who use Serve can expect to buy goods and services on their mobile phone in just a few clicks. Merchants who accept Serve mobile payments will enjoy a streamlined option for processing and settlement. American Express and Verizon Wireless will also collaborate to source, distribute and simplify redemption of online and mobile offers with participating merchants through the use of the Serve account. For example, as customers redeem certain offers or coupons using their mobile phones, the credit may automatically appear in their Serve account.
The two companies are also working with Payfone to support Serve checkout on Verizon Wireless devices. Payfone's pre-authorization and intelligent routing features will help Verizon Wireless customers who use the Serve application make mobile payments simply and securely.
It's hard to say if this kind of thing will cross carriers and hit up the other guys, but surely they're behind the scenes pushing for just that.