It’s a big day for mobile payments. Multiple former Nokia Money veterans have formally launched iKaaz, a two-pronged strategy to phone commece where choice is the order of the day. The first components, M-POS and its accompanying Tap & Pay, are rough equivalents to familiar NFC-based services like Google Wallet that rely on an NFC tag and matching app for in-store sales. A Consumer Wallet for Enterprises occupies more familiar territory for the ex-Nokia crew: it provides a mobile account that doesn’t require NFC or even an app, letting those in developing countries exchange funds through SMS or USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) if they’re sporting basic handsets. Us end users will need to wait for actual implementations before we see iKaaz for ourselves, but the sheer flexibility could have us paying through our phones in some unexpected places.
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