Source: Blaze Mobile
Blaze Mobile, a leader in mobile payment solutions, has been awarded a patent for its NFC payment sticker and mobile wallet.
The mobile wallet works on both smartphones and non-smartphones. Smartphone users can download the free Blaze Mobile Wallet app for iPhone/iPod and BlackBerry devices, and use it for mobile payments, banking, rewards cards, mobile coupons and more. For non-smartphone users, Blaze has created an SMS-based mobile wallet that does not require the consumer to have a data plan. Blaze's NFC sticker works in conjunction with their mobile wallet to provide a mobile payment solution. Once affixed to any mobile device, the NFC payment sticker enables consumers to safely and quickly use their mobile device to purchase goods by holding it near a point of sale terminal.
As part of its strategy to spark adoption of its mobile wallet, Blaze first introduced the NFC payment sticker in 2006 to address the lack of NFC-enabled mobile phones in the market. In the five years since, only a handful of phones with NFC chips embedded inside have been released, so the Blaze sticker remains a relevant NFC-enabling solution.
According to Michelle Fisher, CEO and Founder of Blaze Mobile, Blaze "is not in competition with Google's Nexus NFC phone, or any other NFC phone. We believe in NFC technology embedded inside the phone. In fact, the first version of our wallet was developed using embedded NFC. We offer consumers an alternative so they do not have to buy a new phone, or wait until more NFC phones are released. We realized in 2006 that we could not build a business with one NFC phone on the market, so we brainstormed about ways to upgrade existing cell phones, and the NFC payment sticker was one of our ideas."
Despite creating the NFC payment sticker, Blaze has not always been credited with its invention, as other companies quickly copied Blaze's design and released their own branded stickers. The award of a patent confirms that Blaze Mobile originated the NFC payment sticker technology. "We are excited that we were awarded this patent. We invented the NFC payment sticker back in 2006. Our vision has always been to develop a universal digital wallet that works on any mobile device, any carrier, and with any bank to drive consumer adoption and ignite the marketplace. After we invented the sticker and filed several patents, we started meeting with potential partners and sending out samples for potential partners to test. Unfortunately, even with signed NDA's, sticker clones started appearing in the market. I'm happy that we have patent protection, which will hopefully inspire other entrepreneurs to keep innovating," said Michelle Fisher.
Blaze will introduce a new SMS-based mobile wallet that enables mobile commerce for non-smartphones during the 4th quarter of 2011. This new SMS mobile wallet brings mobile commerce, banking and coupon capabilities to non-smartphone users in the US, and around the world. Consumers receive receipts and coupons via SMS, and can easily search through their purchase history in a custom mobile wallet. This SMS mobile wallet does not require the use of a carrier data plan, making it a cost-saving option for US and international consumers with legacy mobile devices.