Making and spending money on phones

Got a phone? Someone wants your money--or rather, wants to help you spend it without having to use a computer. We check out three new companies making that happen.

Buying things with your phone can be difficult. Even on modern day devices like the iPhone and the G1, you're still required to have your credit card information on hand, or use a service that lets you skip that step like PayPal or Google Checkout. Three mobile monetization companies presenting at Wednesday's Under the Radar conference are trying to change that with solutions that could make it easier to make and spend money on mobile devices.

Both Billing Revolution and Toro are trying to change the way people pay or access payment information with their devices. Billing Revolution's offering lets retailers manage payments through them, complete with mobile-friendly sales pages that are formatted for small screens. Its system is already in use on some mobile gaming services like Gameloft, Yahoo, and Jumptap, and allows for developers to add additional payment methods within their mobile applications.

Toro co-founder and CEO Laurent Renard shows how his company's system could help retailers identify and reward nearby mobile users with NFC-enabled phones. Josh Lowensohn/CNET Networks

Toro, on the other hand, is working on something that could be immensely useful for phones of the future. It uses near field communication (NFC) to let people pay for things and access information just like they would with the Mastercard PayPass debit cards. Phones with an NFC chip, which Toro's creators expect to hit a 30 percent market share by 2012, will simply be able to emulate systems like PayPass with customer credentials and act like a portable wallet. More importantly, it would be used in marketing to let customers opt in to ad campaigns to get discounts or special information from nearby retailers.

Mojiva, the third and final company in the panel, was the one presenter attempting to tackle mobile ads. It's a location- and keyword-based ad platform, meaning different ads can be delivered based on where you are and what you're looking at. Essentially, it's going where Google has not with its AdSense service, as well as trying to get in the door for serving up ads in both iPhone and Android applications.

To watch these companies pitch in real-time, be sure to check out the Under the Radar UStream channels, and our CoverItLive live blog .

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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