Cell phones vs. Credit Cards: The Battle Begins
June 29th, 2005

Olga Kharif for Business Week’s TechBeat wonders if credit card companies and banks could soon be in for a nasty surprise.

For the past several years, European wireless service providers have allowed subscribers to charge vending machine purchases onto the users’ mobile phone bills. Now, U.S. service providers are starting to follow suit. For instance, users of mobile short-text messaging service SMS.ac can now add charitable contributions to their wireless bills.

Subscribers simply need to send a short-text message to a 5-digit short code to donate 25 cents a day for 31 days. That donation will appear on their monthly wireless bill.

Here’s my thinking: If wireless service providers continue to roll out such billing services, they could, eventually, grab a chunk of revenues away from credit card companies and banks…

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