New banking technology

It was only a matter of time: you can now use your debit and credit cards to pay for taxis, couriers and a full range of other C.O.D. (we’ll have to change that name) services thanks to a mobile, electronic terminal known as the Instalink Wireless Shark.

Introduced last week by Bank of Montreal, Bell Mobility and Wireless Personal Communication, “The Shark” is a point-of-sale terminal that measures just 28 x 10 x 10 centimeters and combines the terminal, PIN pad and printer. The new machine can process Interac Direct Payment transactions as well as online credit card authorizations, processing everything wirelessly on the Bell Mobility cellular network.

“We’re talking about a whole new level of convenience for customers as well as businesses,” said Wendy Porter, Senior Vice President, Merchant Services, Bank of Montreal. “Canadians are among the highest users of electronic payment options and this service provides a natural add-on to what is already available.”

The new service sounds great, and has already passed test runs in B.C. with flying colors. My only question: why is it called “The Shark”? Of course, maybe the fact that is yet another machine that eats money hasomething to do with it, and the banks are really making good on their claims of a new honesty with consumers.