5 Mobile Finance Trends to Watch Out For

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When fashion and portrait photographer Elizabeth Waugh incorporated Square's detachable device into her business, she was suddenly able to process credit card transactions with a swift swipe of her cell phone.

"Some designers I shoot for only pay with a credit card," said Waugh who counts Elie Tahari and Pamela Love among her high-end clients. "The Square app on my iPhone gives me a convenient additional payment option I can easily offer clients."

With newfound mobile freedom, Waugh no longer has to depend on payment via check, wire or Paypal.

"Now I get paid within a day or two. I don't have to wait weeks for my invoice to turnaround," Waugh told MainStreet.

It's mobile trends like these in the finance space that may finally free mere mortals from the constraints of their desktop and eventually convert their iPhone or smartphone into an ATM complete with cash.

"It'd be great if today's banks offered the service of depositing checks in larger amounts through my cell," Waugh said.

With the advent of 3G and 4G cellular networks, Internet speeds which were impossible to attain even 10 years ago are now available on mobile phones. That could be a game-changer in the mobile wallet space.

"A fast Internet connection coupled with a low latency is essential when transmitting large amounts of financial data and making time-sensitive trades," said OANDA Mobile Product Manager Reuben Piryatinsky. "Modern smart phones and tablets have the processing power to display financial information, news and allow the analysis of data."

With an iPhone, iPad, Smartphone or Android device that has a wi-fi or cellular data connection of 3G and faster, anyone can get in on the evolving mobile finance revolution, which for now includes trends such as:

  • 1. Contactless payment technology systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smartcards or other devices that use radio frequency identification for making secure payments. The embedded chip and antenna in a mobile enables consumers to wave their handheld devices over a reader at the point of sale.
  • 2. StockTwits is a Twitter-inspired financial communications platform where investors can follow traders and markets that interest them while getting a personalized stream of news and charts on their mobile. The platform has content partners such as CNN Money, OANDA and Yahoo! Finance.
  • 3. Mobile Forex Trading apps gives users the ability to track real-time exchange rate data, set price alerts and notifications, monitor news and analyze technical charts while on the go. For example, the recently launched, fxTrade Mobile 3.2 allows traders to draw trend lines, mark chart patterns and identify support and resistance levels on currencies and financial instruments via cell and offers Japanese language support. "We're bringing traders even closer to the full desktop version of our award-winning fxTrade platform on a mobile device," said OANDA vice president of product management Trevor Young. "We know from their mobile trading behavior that they want to be able to do more than merely check their positions or peek at the latest currency pair spreads."
  • 4. Mobile apps from Mint, Pageonce and PocketMoney are compatible with smart phones and provide a dashboard view of personal or business financial transactions in one place using charts, graphs and message alerts to make it easy to track expenses, bill payments and investment goals.
  • 5. Mobile currency converter apps assist travelers in calculating foreign exchange rate conversions using same daily filtered rates relied on by multinational corporations, auditing firms and global banks.

--Written by Juliette Fairley for MainStreet

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