idea: mobile phone payments

This isn’t exactly a new idea. I was eating dinner with my roommates at “Q” when we got the check. We all took turns tinkering around with payment methods, who would foot the bill, how much tax and tip was…. blah blah blah…

It’d be much easier if we could use our mobile phones to take a picture of the bill, which would conveniently have a barcode. The software in our mobile phones would then analyze the bar code, and present us with a slider to adjust the tip, all the while showing us our bank account balance and the subtotal.

Finally, we would confirm the transaction, and pay the bill. There might be a bluetooth mechanism that allows us to transact with the restaurant’s payment gateway, or we might physically hand our phone to the waiter, who would then scan the resulting barcode on the phone’s display into their POS.

Bingo. No muss, no fuss. I want a simpler life and easier to use technology.


One Comment

  1. Posted October 26, 2006 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    There is no software necessary on the phone: you take a picture of the barcode and then email it to a third party service that is agreed upon by you and the restaurant. The third party service will do the analysis of the barcode and contact you and the restaurant with the receipt.

    There are just many ways to do this, but the above method requires no additional hardware. The special barcode isn’t even necessary: the customer can manually enter the payment amount in the SMS message, along with tip. (in percentages too, couldn’t be easier)

    – Jae

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