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New technology could turn Smartphone into virtual wallet
Imagine a mini-ATM built right into the mouse attached to your home computer, or if you could turn your Smartphone into a credit card. The new technology is being developed, but as CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele discovered it is also raising new security concerns as thieves try to stay one step ahead of the curve.
Many credit cards now contain radio chips that let consumers wave their credit card at a terminal to pay without entering a PIN code or signing a receipt. But soon your Smartphone could use similar technology to transform it into a virtual wallet.
"You could basically eliminate carrying a wallet, and copy the information from your card and store it in your phone," said Steve Gagnon, President of POSH Manufacturing Ltd.
The Google Nexus S Smartphone, along with the virtual wallet app, is being field tested in major U.S. cities and will be available in New York and San Francisco this summer. Visa is also introducing its virtual wallet technology in Canada this fall. Eventually you'll be able to sync your loyalty cards, gift cards, boarding passes, and even your driver's licence to your smartphone.
Gagnon already owns a Google S Nexus Smartphone and admits the App that turns his phone into a virtual wallet will likely be duplicated by thieves in the future.
If you're really security conscious about your credit information there are new products being developed to ease your concerns.
Gagnon's latest invention is the personal ATM mouse. It allows you to access your personal bank account, make money transfers and online purchases with either your credit or debit card, all tethered to your personal computer. The ATM mouse uses the same data security as the ATM at your corner bank.
"You can basically pay bills as well as buy things online, without the fear of the online company taking advantage of your credit card information," said Gagnon.
The ATM mouse still has to undergo field testing, but Gagnon hopes someday banks will give the product to their customers to help reduce financial fraud.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele