Microsoft Is Said to Plan Mobile Payments in New Phone Software
Microsoft plans to include mobile-payment technology in new versions of its Windows Phone software that will allow users to buy merchandise using their smartphones, according to people familiar with the plans. According to Gartner Inc., mobile payments may be used in $245 billion in transactions in 2014, up from $32 billion in 2010. The move for Microsoft into this market comes as CEO Steve Ballmer tries to regain mobile-software market share lost to Apple and Google. Microsoft’s new software will be based on near-field communication, which enables payments and allows consumers to use their handsets to redeem coupons and collect loyalty points at certain merchants. There has been an increase in the use of NFC among mobile-software providers, and adding the features may be crucial to Microsoft’s efforts to boost its shrinking market share. Consultant ABI Research estimates that the number of mobile phones with NFC will double in 2012, from 35 million shipped in 2011.
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Bloomberg (03/30/11) Kharif, Olga; Bass, Dina