Money, as in the currency that can be used to pay for or exchanged for goods and/or services, has been around since the dawn of time. It has existed as precious metals and stones (or for some Pacific Islanders as a really big carved stone), become paper backed by gold or other metals, appeared in coins and again as paper backed by the stability of the government, and in recent years appeared in “plastic” form via credit cards.
But could we be on the cusp of a digital age, where money becomes just data? That’s sort of the concept behind Mobile Money. And this week Monitise Americas launched an app for it, available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. This free app, which Monitise claims is part of the world’s first mobile banking ecosystem, allows users to perform banking and payment transactions through a single interface, regardless of the mobile operator.
The app is now available from the Apple App Store for the iPod Touch and iPhone, and is part of the Monitise Americas’ Mobile Money services, which include options to look at weekly balances to more robust versions that let you see real-time balance inquiries, along with the option to make account transfers and bill payments. Now you can move money around without it ever actually “existing” anywhere except as data.
Hopefully that won’t make it seem any less real. After all, that paper money in your wallet is only backed up by the word of the U.S. government. And consider all those Treasury Bonds that have been sold in the past six months. Makes digital money seem a whole lot more stable.
Google Latitude Lands on the iPhone… as a Web App
There is one app that you might not find at the Apple App Store, and that’s the Google Latitude app, which arrived earlier this month for Android handsets. The thing here is that the location-based service is now available as a Web app, rather than a fully downloadable native app.
The reason seems to be that Apple didn’t want it to be released as a fully-fledged app, and Google had to work with the iPhone maker to reach a compromise. That’s a strange move of course, but before you ditch your iPhone, consider that Latitude for the iPhone still allows you to find your friends and view their location on a map. So head over to Google.com/latitude to get your mobile searching going.
After Hours App of the Week:
Hallmark Mobile Greetings – the greeting card giant has launched a new mobile application that is downloadable for select AT&T and Sprint handsets (and should add additional handsets and carriers this fall). This app lets users send a message that has the look and “feel” of a Hallmark card. Each message costs 99 cents and while these likely won’t replace the traditional paper cards, these are in fact meant to compete with messages from social media. As with how money is going mobile, now so are greeting cards.
Check back next week for the latest from the world of mobile apps.