Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 29, 2005
Sure, we’ve heard all about how Japanese and Korean consumers can pay for drinks at vending machines with their cell phones. Now, this much-talked-about technology is finally making its way into the U.S. A major U.S. city will announce this week that it will allow its residents to pay for their parking wirelessly, with their cell phones. It won’t be the first to do that: Denver drivers and bicycle riders are already able to pay for parking and bike lockers with their mobiles.
What’s nifty about the new service is that it will text-message consumers’ phones, letting them know, say, that their parking meter will expire in 10 minutes. Now that’s what I call service!
It’s funny that, in the U.S., cell phone payment service has begun with parking, while, in Japan, it began with grocery stores and vending machines. That just shows you the huge differences between the two cultures. Clearly, the U.S. is walking to its own beat, and mobile payments will be used differently here. I wonder where we might see cell phone wallets deployed at next. My bets: gas stations and McDonald’s. What do you think?