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Verizon Set To Launch Mobile Payment Service 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the reaching-in-our-wallet-from-within-our-pocket dept.
CWmike writes "Verizon Wireless announced on Monday that customers will soon be able to charge up to $25 a month in online purchases to their accounts. The service, based on technology created by Danal, will require text messaging-enabled phones, and that purchases be made from Verizon-approved online stores, which include game sites and social networks. It will require that customers click a BilltoMobile button during checkout from a participating online Web site. Users will be asked to input their mobile numbers and mobile billing zip codes for authentication. Once the user is authenticated, a one-time passcode will sent to his or her phone. The number is then input into the online checkout window. At that point, the transaction is complete and the charge will appear on the customer's monthly phone bill. GigaOm writes, 'If Verizon can get people accustomed to putting in their phone numbers instead of credit cards while shopping online, then it could own a critical element in building an application and services platform that spans the wired and wireless world ... Much like Apple has such a large stake in the mobile application and commerce space today because it has millions of credit cards in iTunes, Verizon could be expanding its own payments information for a similar goal.'"
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Verizon Set To Launch Mobile Payment Service

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  • Just enough for (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by ickleberry (864871)
    A 25 dolla hooker :D
  • I'm not surprised.

    Verizon: We never stop working you.

  • In other words (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Monday March 22, 2010 @05:41PM (#31576734)

    Verizon has found a way to get hordes of parents with pitch forks and torches to come to their corporate offices and gruesomely kill them.

    You notice they start at with a $25 limit? How convenient. Scam sites like those who conspired with Zynga (Mafia Wars & Farmville) have been scamming by getting people to subscribe via the text messaging service. Now Verizon is basically expanding that by allowing POS purchases in addition to monthly subscription fees and per text billing through messaging.

    It really is the parents who will get screwed with this and go more insane at Verizon (and other carriers) when their kids get stupid or scammed into making purchases via their phones. Most adults are not subscribing to the ridiculous, and more importantly, misleading offers that make money by nailing you with subscription fees through the text messaging system.

    Lol. Seriously? Will someone not think of the children??

    • Re:In other words (Score:4, Insightful)

      by postbigbang (761081) on Monday March 22, 2010 @06:26PM (#31577236)

      If they don't have an opt-in, I'm sure they'll get sued.

      OTOH, for those that will want to pay Verizon's usury, it's fine. Other countries have been using phone payments somewhat successfully for a long time now.

    • Like most other alternative online payment methods (*cough* Paypal *cough*), this one is a terrible deal for consumers.

      In the US, especially after the Credit CARD Act of 2009 [wikipedia.org], you get a huge array of benefits for using a credit card:

      • Strong, federally-mandated protection against fraud and bait-and-switch (in most cases, the card issuer and merchant duke it out over chargebacks, and the consumer owes nothing).
      • Limits on interest rates and fees
      • Most decent cards these days offer cash back/rewards... I get about
    • by Jer (18391)

      Most adults are not subscribing to the ridiculous, and more importantly, misleading offers that make money by nailing you with subscription fees through the text messaging system.

      CITATION NEEDED.

      Show me the data then I'll believe it. My own personal experience indicates that the "kids" are no more and no less savvy when it comes to stuff like this and its their elders who keep getting conned by scams. Like "legitimate" credit card companies that charge usurious rates, banks that offer mortgage deals that

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 22, 2010 @05:42PM (#31576744)

    I try to set up a separate email address for each vendor to communicate with, so I know how spammers got it. It's bad enough that Paypal insists on disclosing my payment address to the vendor for routine transactions (it should disclose it only in the event of a formally registered dispute) so I get spammed to my Paypal address. Giving online retail sites my private cellular number that can accept text messages is just about the last thing I'd allow. When I have to give a phone number to a vendor, I give a 24/7 voice mail number that emails me a .wav file of the voice message.

    I do have a hell of a lot of prepaid Verizon mobile minutes but I doubt this scheme would let me use them to buy stuff online.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...I recall paying for stuff from vending machines with my phone in 2000. And since then for everything from tram tickets to premium content on web sites.

    Since this is such a simple thing to implement I'm very surprised, if you indeed haven't had it before on the other side of the pond.

    • by Haxx (314221)

      Bold faced lie. 2000? Not a chance.

      Mod this one up for Humor.

      • by Dunx (23729)

        No, 2000 sounds about right. There were SMS payment systems in place in the UK before I moved to the States in 2001 and was nauseated* by the state of mobile telephony here.

        [*] I exaggerate for comic effect - I really don't care enough about mobile phones to feel sick at their poor state in, ahem, the States, but it was shockingly backward then.

      • I know they had them at Eircell (since assimilated into vodafone) in 2000 or possibly even 1999 but had to get rid of them because employees who had their bill paid by the companies were using them too much.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by thpr (786837)
        2000 is entirely plausible. Sonera installed the first set of mobile enabled vending machines selling Coca-Cola at Helsinki-Vantaa airport in 1997. Read the Background section at the bottom of this 2002 article [findarticles.com]
      • I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't a bit earlier. Around 1997 I can remember watching a program in the UK on how you could use your cell phone in Japan to pay for goods in a vending machine (see here [wikipedia.org]), though I can't remember whether it was only in test phase. When I visited Australia in 2005 you could use your cell phone to pay for parking [nsw.gov.au].

        The truth is North America behind when it comes to what people can do with their cell phones. They are only now starting to catch up. I believe the Qualcomm CDMA / GSM

  • Sounds complicated. Entering received passcodes? Whatever happened to entering your credit card number? Wonder if it's opt-in, otherwise parents are going to love this.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So what prevents me from charging this to someone else's number? Sounds like all I would need is number and name (which I get anyway if I get the number)?

  • "Sorry, M.P.!"

    ...there goes the last leg of your business plan. Let me know what you come up with next; I really liked collegeclub!

    For those of you who never had the privilege of working for him, wiki [wikipedia.org] and employee horror stories [sandiego6.com]

  • So in these other counties that already have it, can you describe what you have like this? I'd like to know do these systems tend to support more than one wireless carrier? Do they try for exclusivity with vendors? Are there caps like this $25/month? Are they opt-in? Does the vendor of a good/service have to pay a surcharge over what a merchant credit account would do? I guess I could search on it a bit but I also like the idea of getting some spontaneous information here.
  • I think this is a pretty good idea. There are a lot of people who are unable to make online purchases - they can't get plastic for a variety of reasons, same with PayPal - and it can be a serious disadvantage.

    The only problem I envisage is children spending money they shouldn't, and parents having to foot the bill. The $25 limit is one way to tackle this; another would be to make it an opt-in service that can be authorized only by an adult; maybe even limiting the service to prepay (pay as you go) account

    • The $25 dollar credit thing is just a hook to get you to buy more than $25 a month worth of stuff via your cell phone. It isn't limited to $25 at all. Just imagine that you wanted to buy a ring tone or something, and you neglected to uncheck the box next to the option to sign up for 10 new ring tones a month for $5.95 (never mind that the page-scroll wasn't visible, and the box was a line or two beneath the viewable screen). Now imagine these kinds of gimmicks in the hands of a 13 year old girl, whose cell
      • >Now imagine these kinds of gimmicks in the hands of a 13 year old girl, whose cell phone bill you pay...

        Well that *IS* Verizon's m.o.

        I signed up for Verizon because everyone had it. Verizon promised better coverage than el-cheapo T-Mobile. Of course, while Verizon does have better coverage, it's the same or worse at my house. And Verizon charges up the ass.

        Verizon has a great network, obfuscated by countless layers of smoke and mirrors. Are you 13? Do you have no self-control? Do you need Miley Cyru

  • by msauve (701917) on Monday March 22, 2010 @06:23PM (#31577206)
    because I really like the straight-forward, easy to understand, error-free billing system that Verizon Wireless has.

    Really, what idiot would trust them with this? Hey - what's this $4.59 "service access charge" that's tacked onto my $10 order?
    • The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away.

      -Oz
    • by EmagGeek (574360)

      Yeah I can see it now:

      Purchase - ACME Online Widget Company: $9.99
      Federal Transaction Regulation Charge: $1.35
      Wireless Financial Transaction Cost Recovery: $3.92
      Local Universal Wheelchair Access Charge: $0.87
      Federal Regulatory Cost Recovery Surcharge: $1.24
      State Regulatory Cost Recovery Surcharge: $0.74
      Local Regulatory Cost Recovery Surcharge: $0.39
      Multiple Bit Transfer Data Access Charge: $1.42
      Third Party Transportation Service Fee: $2.97

  • (This comment intentionally left blank.)

  • $25 can't buy any worthwhile pr0n, so this will fail. Give me $500/month, and then we can start negotiations.

    Even after the pr0n, any trip to Starbucks is over $25 easy.

    I have never spent less than $25 at a dollar store.

    I don't think I've quite hit my stride on one-liners with this one. I'll try again later after I visit a few >$25 Web sites.

  • But how is this suppose to be any different from just using my credit card? And how exactly does this qualify as "mobile" at all? This sounds like it's destined to fail...considering it only has support of 1 carrier, and isn't coming from an established company (in payments), nor is providing any sort of mobile experience. How exactly are they going to compete against

    1. established companies ( paypal - who recently released their mobile payment api )

    2. companies who are invested by carriers ( zoompass -

  • Finally (part of) the U.S. is catching up with the rest of the world with mobile payments. In Europe you can even pay your utility bills on the phone.
  • Wait a minute, now instead of needing to give online retailers a mailing address for them to send junk mail to (which isn't so bad as most of the time I am buying a physical item that needs to be shipped to a real address anyway), I would be giving them the phone number for a phone I regularly have on me? Who could have possibly thought this would be a good idea? It would make far more sense for identifier given to the retailer be some random unique number (like a credit card number), which the retailer wou

  • by Qwavel (733416) on Monday March 22, 2010 @10:12PM (#31579048)

    From another article about this service:

    "BilltoMobile aims to charge fees of less than 20 percent of a transaction. It does so by bypassing the short codes to connect directly with mobile carrier billing systems and their subscriber databases. It took a couple of years for BilltoMobile to create this system and to strike deals with U.S. carriers."

    The incredible efficiency of modern telecom and computer systems continues to impress me. To imagine, they have managed to develop a system where they can take less then 20% of the transaction!

    To think that we used to use cash for transactions.

    • Credit cards take (I believe) 2-3% of the transaction.

      So ask your retailer, "Do you take credit cards?"

      If the answer is an enthusiastic "YES!" then you're in the clear.

      If you're buying 2 bagels from the corner bagel store then you should probably pay in cash. Credit cards (generally) have a $1 minimum, which translates to a $5-10 purchase depending on your merchant's profit margin.

      Thus the "$10 charge minimum", which is illegal, but salient.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        Credit cards have a minimum fee too - like 50c, so the 2% is a lot more for small payments.

        Which is why the $10 minimum is the amount generally used - the merchant pays that 50c on your $1 purchase, it turns into a net loss for them.

        Also the $10 minimum is often (£10 here in the UK) the smallest amount you can charge before the card will phone home for authorisation. Less than that, they don't bother - so you can use a stolen card with impunity for small amounts (ok they do random authorisation)

        • Credit cards have a minimum fee too - like 50c, so the 2% is a lot more for small payments.

          Which is why the $10 minimum is the amount generally used - the merchant pays that 50c on your $1 purchase, it turns into a net loss for them.

          In the US the credit card merchant agreement forbid setting a minimum credit card charge; although it's easier to not buy at such a place tan to complain to Visa/MC/American Express. Generally they were the small mom and pops; I guess for a big chain they probably negotiate a deal taht limits the impact of small charges. I'm not sure if CC agreements still forbid minimum purchase, btw.

          Also the $10 minimum is often (£10 here in the UK) the smallest amount you can charge before the card will phone home for authorisation. Less than that, they don't bother - so you can use a stolen card with impunity for small amounts (ok they do random authorisation)

          Which is why gas stations are popular places to test stolen cards - the pay at pump checks to see if the card is good. Fo

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