The innovative service enables NFC on previously incompatible smartphones by utilizing a custom Moneto microSD card for Android and a custom case for iPhone.
According to its press release “Users can fund their Moneto prepaid account through direct deposit, ACH transfer or cash/credit/debit card-enabled third-party money transfer services such as MoneyGram, Western Union, PayPal or GreenDot.
Moneto also comes with a companion prepaid MasterCard to give users the ability to access cash at ATMs and make online purchases, pay bills or shop at merchants that do not accept contactless payments. Moneto also enables card-to-card and wire-fund transfers from a secure internet portal accessible via moneto.me.”
The service is enabled in 3 steps:
- Enable: Enable your phone for mobile payments with the Moneto microSD card for Android or an Moneto case for iPhone
- Activate: Activate your account by downloading the Moneto app from the Apple AppStore or the Android Market
- Shop: Look for the MasterCard PayPass symbol and use your phone to pay at over 120,000 retailers
Interestingly after doing a little research, I discovered that on Android devices the microSD card is used to store and encrypt the data for the mobile wallet service and doubles as a storage source. You can transfer any data or media, such as application folders, music, videos, or pictures on your current microSD card to the Moneto SD card.
The Moneto microSD card works in conjunction with a special sticker that goes inside the battery door on Android phones (similar to the Antenna booster stickers) to help boost the signal that originates from the special Moneto microSD card to enable the transaction.
Moneto for iPhone will be available for online ordering in the U.S. immediately at moneto.me for $79.95 which includes $10.00 of pre-loaded funds. The Moneto mobile wallet is available in limited release on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3.
A number of Android models will also be supported by 2Q 2012. It has been reported that the Android microSD card may be available in two to three weeks starting at $30. It is unknown what the storage capacity of the initial offering will be, or how much the higher capacity Moneto microSD cards will cost at this time.
Additional phone support will be added throughout the year.