Slideshow 9 Weirdest Moments in Mobile Payments

  • September 28 2012, 11:46am EDT
10 Images Total

(Image: ThinkStock)

Attack Ad

VeriFone's response to Square's introduction of a competing mobile card reader was to produce an infomercial-style video wherein its CEO explains how the rival Square reader can be adapted by fraudsters to steal card data — and VeriFone went so far as to distribute a "demo" skimming app to prove its point. (Image: ThinkStock)

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Fashion Statement

Who knew "pink camouflage" could help mobile-payment adoption? Bling Nation, which distributed payment-capable stickers for people to attach to their phones, found consumers were more eager to use its system when it offered a selection of colors and patterns than when it made stickers with only bank logos printed on them. (Pictured: Earl Bradley, CEO of First Advantage Bank of Clarksville, Tenn.)

Sea of NFC

Google's mobile wallet relies on Near Field Communication chips to allow payments at the point of sale — so its Motorola Mobility unit's recent introduction of three NFC-equipped phones should have been a major boost for Google's payment system. It wasn't. Google didn't place its Google Wallet app on any of those phones. (Image: Bloomberg News

Not So Mobile

If you can't get payment-capable phones in consumers' hands, what about a tablet? Shortly after shipping its budget-priced Nexus 7 tablet, Google added the Google Wallet app. It's not exactly pocket-sized, but it works. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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Travel Troubles

In August, the mobile payments company iZettle learned it could not handle Visa payments in Finland, Denmark and Norway, but that Visa Europe would still allow it to handle Visa payments in Sweden. At the time, iZettle and Visa Europe did not explain why this is, though some suspect it has to do with rules around PIN acceptance. (Image: ThinkStock)

PIN Punctured

Speaking of PIN codes, Google Wallet had a very odd security issue. A researcher discovered that fraudsters could access the Google Wallet virtual prepaid account's stored funds by simply deleting the account's PIN instead of cracking it. Google fixed the issue right away, but it eventually phased out the prepaid card entirely. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Endless Summer

Isis, the mobile-payment venture founded by the major U.S. mobile carriers, has promised through September that it would begin testing during the summer. Even as summer's Sept. 21 end neared, and its partners conceded that the test had been delayed, Isis maintained that it was still on track.

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Ambiguous Apple

Apple's approach to mobile payments leaves some confusion over whether it has a mobile wallet. Its Passbook app can load any barcode-based card or ticket, but its latest iPhone doesn't have an NFC chip for wireless payments. Apple could choose to build on Passbook — or it could use its numerous NFC patents to design its next iPhone. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Consumers Don't Care

Perhaps the most bizarre thing about the mobile-pay movement is the lack of demand by consumers. Experts agree mobile wallets are inevitable, but consumers don't all share banks' enthusiasm for the new technology. (Image: ThinkStock)