What do Flat screen TVs, Automobiles and Banks have in common?

CES, apparently! One of our reporters was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, and he submitted this delayed report. Apart from the short skirts, what he found out was:

- There were probably more flat-screen (and curved-screen) TV’s per square foot in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center last week than any other public place in the world.

- There was also almost every major automobile manufacturer in the North Hall displaying the latest technologies in connected cars.

Our LTP staff reporter was roaming the hallways of CES with a payments hat on, and the connections were beginning to form in his brain...the car is becoming another mobile device. Will it have an open platform for apps and services? Most probably. Can I watch videos, browse FaceBook, download songs on/in my connected car? Of course! Will I get a free car with a 5-year contract from Verizon? OK, not so fast now!

So, let’s get more practical. Does the car come with NFC? May be. Can I tap my phone on the car to open the door? Coming soon! Can I pay for products and services on/in the car using my phone? Yes, well...may be if you have a secure element in your NFC phone which has been provisioned to work with your carrier’s proprietary wallet, which is accepted in the embedded POS in your car’s dashboard, and if you have also provisioned the connectivity of the car with a carrier contract. OK, so we are back to the 2-year or 5-year carrier contract. Now, may be that’s exactly why the T-Mobile CEO was honing in on the un-carrier strategy at CES, just so that some day you could enjoy your connected car!

If its not NFC, it could be some other enabling technology that will help to make your car a payment device that pays for tolls (you already use that wireless tag), for Drive takeaways, for shopping online and possibilities are unlimited. And all this is not sci-fi, in some places related infrastructure is coming up.

Pardon the digression there, but there has to be some role for a bank in this, right? After all, banks have the exclusive mandate to hold and move your money!

That’s it; he got it! Of course, there was a connection!

PS: Albert Einstein said --> 'I don't think of future, it comes very soon'