M-commerce is e-commerce preformed via a mobile phone or other mobile device. This means using your mobile phone to conduct business transactions, like paying a bill or buying goods. This is usually conducted through a web page or a text message. For instance, after natural disasters in the world there are commercial saying you can text a certain number and donate 10 dollars to the cause. An emerging technology in the m-commerce field is Near Field Communications, which uses RFID technology to facilitate communications between devices. One example of NFC technology would be credit card readers on vending machines instead of using coins or bills, or paying bills via your mobile phone.
Basically m-commerce is like e-commerce except m-commerce transactions typically take place through a mobile Web page or a text message. These can show up as barcodes on mobile phones. M-commerce and e-commerce have advantages and disadvantages to customers. Advantages consist of the convenience, easier to compare shopping, higher degree of selection, potential cost savings, and customized products. Disadvantages for customers would be potential fraud, buying goods without seeing them in person first and possible expensive returns.
A very recent trend in m-commerce is the ability to deposit checks into your bank account using the camera on your smartphone. Select banks have set up applications that allow their customers to make a deposit simply by taking a picture of the front and back of the check. This technology, known as remote-deposit capture, started as a convenient way for corporations to deposit a large amount of checks, it has slowly worked its way to everyday consumers trying to eliminate one more errand from their life.
Associated Press, "Deposit Checks Using Your Cellphone Camera." Digital Trends.com., 2012<http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/deposit-checks-using-your-cellphone-camera/>
In addition to ordering and making payments with your mobile phone, there are companies that are designing technology that would allow coupons to be redeemed by using your phone. According to internetretailer.com, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone will be able to store and convert loyalty cards, gift cards, coupons and credit card information to be used at the checkout. Mobeam the developer of this technology says retailers will not have to install new equipment or scanners, the new technology works with the current store scanners. A light source already built into smartphones can imitate the standard bar code.
Another new product that has made m-commerce much more popular and accessible to small business is Square. Square is a credit card service that allows businesses to accept credit cards and are charged on a per transaction basis. This has opened the doors for more businesses to accept credit cards, via a mobile device, and offer that option to their customer without having to pay a monthly fee on top of the transaction fees that average companies charge. It is very easy to sign up and the company provides the business with a square reader that attaches to the top of the device.