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July 08, 2014

Fiserv Allows Google Glass to Pay Bills

Paying bills is a prospect that takes on various levels of challenge based on the amount of control desired. Some just tie the bills to a bank account and let the whole thing kind of handle itself with automatic bill pay. Others write out checks or get money orders and route same through the mail. But a new technology from Auckland's Fiserv is turning bill payments into a process that can not only be routed through Google Glass, but handled with a few simple gestures.

A recent demonstration of the product in question showed just how simple it could be to work the whole affair, as Fiserv showed the ease of paying a bill with Google Glass. It started with one simple voice command, then three taps to the side of the device, then just holding the bill itself up in range of the Google Glass' front-mounted camera. Once that comparatively simple process was performed, the bill in question was paid.

Based on Fiserv's Mobiliti platform—which itself is in use by over 1,800 banks in the nation—the tool looks to join a growing roster of tools arriving for Google Glass, which itself hasn't actually been released for public use yet. It's still at least somewhat in beta, with access available through the Explorer program, but there's likely to be quite a bit of change coming up in the near term when the device goes into a wide release.

Indeed, Mcom—which itself is at last report owned by Fiserv--analyst Kieran Waelen noted that the Google Glass system doesn't “...integrate well into the face.” That's a development that, in the long term, could do a lot of damage to the Google Glass concept, but as some note, that's a similar explanation to what the first BlackBerry devices were like. Smartphones originally didn't come crammed with apps, after all, and the further along said devices progressed, the more uses were developed therein.

Right now, it may not seem like a great idea to develop for Google Glass. The device is currently, at last report, selling for around $1,500 and still in comparatively short supply. But as the device hits wider release, the price is likely to drop, and as the price drops then the number of users climb and the number of apps go with it. Some have questioned whether this device will actually go into a wide release, or even do all that well when it gets there; it's not hard to see how the device has made a huge impact on the business community, particularly in highly specialized fields like law enforcement or medicine. With businesses increasingly banning the wearable technology as a potential privacy risk or worse, it's easy to wonder if the end result will be businesses focusing on the device as an internal tool to get the job done while regular people shy away.

Either way, though, there's likely to be plenty of use for Google Glass apps, and the Fiserv system of bill payment may just let the Google Glass step into a new role as a cost accounting tool.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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