Metro Wi-Fi and Mobile Billing

As I walked to the grocery store today, I thought again about the infamous meter maid. It dawned on me that as these metropolitan wi-fi networks are deployed, the city could leverage this network to provide many new services that could either increase revenue for the city or lower costs. One thought is to change the meters to take a credit card (or some form of future electronic payment). The meter could validate the card through the metro wi-fi network and run off a solar panel and battery. They already have an electronic parking meter for the cellular networks, but I’m guessing that a wi-fi version would be cheaper.
Also, imagine all the outdoor vendors that could process credit cards through mobile devices. Making the Internet ubiquitous should prove interesting.
Update 1-11-2007: A few days ago I was in Hong Kong and saw a parking meter that used their ubiquitous Octopus card. This RFID smart card made it very easy to pay for parking, something every city in the world should adopt.
An additional example of use for the Octopus card:

One thought on “Metro Wi-Fi and Mobile Billing”

  1. Hey D – One of my associates runs a payment processing business and one of their mobile terminals accepts a TREO or other SmartPhone to be docked. You can use the stylus on the screen and it captures signature and prints receipt on the spot for real-time mobile payment processing leveraging Verizon’s broadband network (available w/ other carriers too).
    I just gave away my Dell AXIOM 400Mhz w/ built-in Wi-Fi, but I believe you can dock it too and do the same thing, leveraging the wi-fi network instead of cellular.

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