Palma shoppers will soon be able to pay using phones. | Nuria Rincon


Retailers in Palma want shoppers, both residents and tourists, to be able to pay via their mobile phones if they wish to and so not have to carry cash or cards. While Palma is becoming a major shopping destination in the Mediterranean, such a system isn't currently available (or not widely at any rate).

Afedeco, one of the associations representing smaller traders in Palma, understands that this method of payment is something which operates in other cities. Its director, Antoni Vilella, says that there is a project to make such a system operable and that it should be available next year. In fact, there are already a few shops which allow it, i.e. those which are part of the Pedro Mesquida group - Xino's, Donna and Stone.

Vilella says that technically this isn't a complicated service and that investment is minimal. It is more a question of getting banks onside. The association has, therefore, presented a plan to Sa Nostra, and it has looked upon it favourably.

Other than this, the main obstacle to payment by phone is consumer behaviour. Changing habits is not always easy when there are many people (even if the number is coming down) who are reluctant to pay online or use non-traditional payment systems.