September 8, 2006, 12:00 AM

DON’T show me the money: Consumers take to m-commerce for payments

An m-commerce test concludes Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers fans prefer to use mobile phones to pay for items at in-stadium merchants—for any purchase amount—and m-commerce sites, according to the North American Near Field Communication trial.


When it comes to buying soda, snacks, jerseys, ringtones and video clips, Atlanta basketball and hockey fans prefer not to show anyone the money.

Instead, the fans prefer to use their mobile phones to pay for items at in-stadium merchants-for any purchase amount-and m-commerce sites, according to a trial by Atlanta’s Philips Arena, Chase, Cingular Wireless, Nokia, NXP, Visa USA and ViVOtech. Fans also indicate they see value in accessing multiple payment accounts on their mobile phones in the future, notes the group’s North American Near Field Communication trial.

150 Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers season ticket holders with both a Chase-issued Visa credit account and a Cingular Wireless account have participated in the trial of this combination of m-commerce technologies since December. They have used the phones, equipped with mobile web browsers and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless networking technologies, to purchase team-themed digital content online as well as snacks and merchandise offline.

Online, fans have purchased and downloaded digital content, including ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers and video clips, to their Nokia 3220 mobile phones. The test shows that wireless telecom-based data usage increases during game days, and that trial participants frequently use their mobile phones to search for and purchase digital content. Participants also express interest in having multiple applications on a single mobile device, including transit, loyalty and digital content applications.

Offline, test participants point their phones at a vending machine or cash register and “beam” their secure credit card information to the machines via the short-distance Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technologies.

“The trial partners feel this is just the beginning of what we can deliver to our customers,” says David Lee, vice president of business development at Atlanta Spirit, parent company of the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena. “We all are committed to exploring additional options for bringing mobile technology to the mass market.”

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