It looks like paying for goods by using your phone or smartphone may soon become a reality in the US depending on how initial trials go. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile have banded together to get trials of Near-Field Communication (NFC) payment systems going on cell phones. What’s unique is that these cell phones will utilize Discover Financial Services to process the payments, in effect competing against bigger merchant card services like MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.
In order to use your phone as a a payment method, your phone must have an embedded NFC chip. Additionally, merchants will have to install compatible scanners as well. Trials are expected to start in four American cities, though details aren’t clear on how the compatible hardware would need to be added to a customer’s phone–whether it’d be through the use of a case or sticker or by carriers issuing trial customers a new, compatible smartphone.
Are you ready to leave your wallet at home?