Instant-Pay Mobile App as the New ‘Wallet’

October 12, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. receipt (n.) 
[ri-seet– a piece of paper or written acknowledgement that says an item or service was paid for
Example: His mother keeps all receipts to keep track of their monthly expenses.

2. hands-free (adj.) [hands] [free] – refers to something that can be used without hands
Example: He uses a hands-free mobile phone in his car so he can talk while driving.

3. clerk (n.) [klurk] – a person who works at a store’s sales counter or cashier
Example: He handed his credit card to the clerk to pay for the items.

4. balance (n.) [bal-uh ns] – amount of money that is left in an account
Example: The employee checked his bank account’s balance to know if he received his salary from the company.

5. troublesome (adj.) [truhb-uh l-suh m] – difficult or not convenient
Example: Driving during heavy rain can be troublesome because of  unsafe roads.

Read the text below.

Paying with cash and credit cards may soon be considered old ways of buying items. Several US mobile technology companies have been busy creating apps that let customers pay more quickly and easily using mobile phone apps.

Google, for example, developed the Google Wallet app, which can keep information of different credit cards and prepaid cards.  To pay for items, users simply place their phone with Google Wallet near a store’s card reader. The reader detects the mobile phone, as if the phone were a real credit card. Once the customer types a password to confirm the payment, a digital receipt is sent to the customer’s mobile phone.

Square, a payments company, also developed a new app called Pay with Square, which lets the customer pay hands-free.

With Square’s app, the customer gives his or her name to the store’s clerk after selecting the item he or she wants to buy. The clerk then looks for the person’s name on the store’s Wi-Fi device, such as an iPad. If the information and picture on the screen matches the customer, the customer’s balance is checked and payment is instantly confirmed. Using Pay with Square, the item can be bought without the customer even touching his or her phone.

Some apps also send messages to users’ phones about sales and discounts in stores nearby.

With the apps, people can avoid the troublesome and time-wasting process of paying with ordinary credit cards, which involves the clerk swiping the card into a reader, the customer waiting for the sale to be confirmed, and writing signatures on receipts.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think of instant-pay mobile apps?
·         Does your country already have this kind of app? If not, do you think people in your country would want this app? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are important features to have on your mobile phone? Please explain your answers.
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of using mobile phones for almost everything (e.g., using the phone for paying items, for work, for getting directions, for Internet activities, etc.)?


October 12, 2012