Cellarix seeks to make phone payment a reality in Israel

The company's system uses credit cards rather than competing with them.

The wireless wallet has become a hot topic in the Israeli wireless telephony industry. The idea that consumers can use their smartphones instead of a credit card to make payments is tempting to both wireless carriers and credit card companies, which are planning to reap the rewards from the change in consumers' paying habits.

Shlomo Zytman, was responsible for the wireless parking payment brand PanGo, is trying to make the wireless wallet as easy to use as telephone payment for parking. He founded and runs Cellarix Ltd., which has developed a product that enable any person with an Internet-access cellphone (2.5G and up) - and not just a smartphone - to make purchases at stores.

"While wireless carriers were arguing with the credit card companies, we slipped through with our own product," Zytman told "Globes".

Cellarix's product is as easy to use as wireless parking payment. After the customer registers and provides his credit card number, he can go to any business that supports the technology and pay for goods by providing his telephone number. The customer has to confirm payment via his cellphone. Cellarix will offer this payment method at websites, rendering it unnecessary for the customer to disclose his credit card details.

In addition to the payment service, Cellarix offers money transfers to credit cards or the Postal Bank. The company plans to offer this application for Apple and Android smartphones.

Zytman's product is simpler than the alternative near field communication (NFC) technology, which has become the global standard for wireless wallets. Whereas the NFC needs smartphones with a special chip and businesses to have the system, Cellarix only requires businesses to install the software.

Zytman says that his system does not compete with credit card companies, but relies on them. "Businesses will receive payment from Cellarix rather than from the clearing service company. Our product is more convenient that pulling out a credit card every time you need to make a payment. The company's service is provided without a subscription fee, and Cellarix charges a commission from businesses, so that there are no additional fees for the end-user.

"NFC does not compete with us, either. If this technology enters use, it will only speed up our activity and cause a media buzz that will encourage people to use us for payments."

Zytman is now trying to close agreements with businesses to use Cellarix's product, so it will begin widespread operations in October. The money transfer service is already available.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 22, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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