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Dublin Web Summit: Credit and debit cards could become a thing of the past

In the future people will want to be able to make payments directly from their current account using their phone, rather than a card, the Dublin Web Summit heard today.

The Dublin Web Summit this afternoon
The Dublin Web Summit this afternoon
Image: Conor McCabe Photography

CREDIT AND DEBIT cards could eventually become a thing of the past as people look for other ways to spend their cash and avoid charges, the Dublin Web Summit has heard.

Colm Lyon, the head of Irish company Realex Payments, said that debit cards are increasingly replacing credit cards, but that the costs and charges make debit cards far more expensive for consumers.

He told a panel discussion on mobile payments that in the future, people will want a way to be able to make payments directly from their current account using their phone rather than a card.

“The need for a card existed when there was a credit instrument behind that,” he said. “Credit is kind of disappearing; people are now using debit, and those debit cards are becoming more expensive for consumers”.

“People will, I believe, demand a way in the longer term to be able to accept a payment [or] be able to make a payment at a fraction of the cost at which they do today”.

He told the audience: “The only way that that’s going to become real is if you take the card out of the equation… and allow people to be able to pay directly from their account to another player”.

And that is where things will end up eventually – that I will be able to take out my phone and pay the money directly from my current account to you in real time for free.

John Lunn of Paypal told the panel discussion that the number of people using their mobile to make payments has more than doubled in the past year.

In 2011 Paypal processed around $4 billion in mobile payments while it expects to process around $10 billion this year, Lunn told the audience.

“You can see how fast the mobile payments are growing year by year,” he said. ”I think the recession has helped internet companies get one up on a number of banks, so it’s definitely a very fast moving world”.

The Dublin Web Summit, billed as the largest technology conference in Europe, kicked off this morning in Dublin. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the two-day event at the RDS.

Read: Smartphones the future of internet – and 10 other predictions >

Read: Coder Dojo founder, aged 20, honoured at Web Summit >

Read: Europe’s largest technology conference to being in RDS today >

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