Your iPhone will be your wallet

 It really is only a question of time before your iPhone becomes an electronic wallet – after all, on Android, it’s already almost there.

We’ve mused on this before, but things have taken another step forward with news of Mitek’s Mobile Deposit (read, banking) application for the iPhone. 

In brief, what the ImageNet Mobile Deposit application for the iPhone does is quite interesting – while also being a simple concept..essentially, the software allows banks to accept paper check deposits from merchants and customers via camera-equipped mobile phones.

To make a deposit, the user initiates a mobile banking session, keys in the deposit amount, and snaps a photo of the front and back of the check. Mobile Deposit’s advanced image preprocessing ensures the check images meet Check 21 accepted image quality standards. Once the bank’s system receives the deposit, it sends the customer a confirmation text message. The entire transaction takes less than a minute.

The application is available to financial institutions or mobile banking software vendors looking to add Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) to their mobile banking platform. 

Now, we’d like to look at this the other way round. Apple CEO Steve Jobs touched on this briefly during his September ‘Let’s Rock’ keynote, when he mentioned the iTunes Store now has the banking details of 65 million users. Imagine if those 65 million users could pay and receive money using their iPhone and their iTunes account? 

Essentially you’d buy what you liked and charge the payment to your iTunes account, saving you the risk of carrying a credit card, and subject to dark shrouds of logarithm-jamming UK military-grade security,

Look – we’re not imagining the situation: Apple has patented the notion of using your iPhone as a device to access and purchase food in restaurants and more…

And there’s been a trial of mobile payment services in the US in which Procter & Gamble, The Clorox Co., Del Monte Corp. Kimberly-Clark, and General Mills Inc. have been testing just how well consumers get on when using their phones to hand over discount coupons while shopping.

As final proof that this theorem is taking a march toward prime time, consider this: Visa has already confirmed plans to develop a mobile payments-related services for Google’s Android platform. This will let users check their accounts, make payments, and more, all using your Android phone.

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