AT&T, Verizon, T-mobile want to make your phone a credit card

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You loved Visa and DeviceFidelity’s attempts at turning your iPhone into a credit card. You were dazzled by the possibility of leaving behind that 1mm of inconvenience next time you go out for burritos. However, you lamented the possibility that such a dream may never come true.

Lament no more, friends, for today, Bloomberg reported that AT&T, Verizon, and T-mobile are plotting together to bring near-field communication payment systems to their phones in a big way.

So big, in fact, that reports are saying that they will compete against credit giants Visa and Mastercard, partnering instead with Discover Financial Services to process the payments, and Barclays Plc to handle the accounts.

This will, of course, require not only new payment equipment in retail outlets, but also a new piece of technology integrated with a phone that people actually use (cue Visa’s iPhone case), but with the three biggest phone carriers in the US getting behind the project, expect a solution to this problem to come soon.

A pilot program is about to start in Atlanta and three other cities, where people will be able to pay with a wave of their “smartphone”, but I have no idea if this will involve a whole new phone, a case for their existing (and compatible) phone, or a sticker for the back of any phone/thing (which Mastercard have already started trialling).

Who knows which company or solution will win out in this war, but there’s one thing you should expect: your phone will eventually replace your wallet.

[via Engadget]

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