Because apparently paying by cash or credit card is too old-school for some folks, the city of San Francisco has begun rolling out parking meters that allow smartphone users to feed the meter with a wave of their handheld mobile communications device.
Just about any new cellphone or tablet allows the user to make digital purchases that are subsequently charged to their wireless account. And while the four major wireless providers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile — claim to provide ample protections for customers, our pals at Consumers Union have found that users may not be getting fewer protections than they would for purchases made using a credit or debit card.
The Salvation Army has announced that they are testing Square, a service that allows a smart phone to accept credit card payments. The test will take place at 40 locations in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Previous attempts at accepting credit cards weren’t successful, but the Army is feeling optimistic that consumers will adopt this new way of paying.
Just days after unleashing the bladder-busting, 31-ounce “trenta” size on America, Starbucks has announced that users of iPhones and Blackberries will be able to pay for their caffeine fix with their smartphones.
For a few months now, coffee cravers at a small handful of Starbucks in Seattle and Northern California — along with many Starbucks located Target stores — have been able to pay by iPhone or Blackberry with the Starbucks Card Mobile App. And starting today, java junkies in New York City and Long Island will be able to try this system out at around 300 locations.
Why does HSBC charge $15 to make a payment over the phone? Other, often smaller, companies charge $3 or less, as MG notes in his email below. In this case, since the alternative is so unwelcome—a possible late payment, and a corresponding hit on MG’s credit score—it seems pretty outrageous to hold him hostage to a $15 fee.