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Showing posts from November 18, 2010

US Pay by Phone System

You know that thing where you just tap your credit card to pay for stuff at the store? That functionality will be coming to smartphones in the U.S., this time apparently for real, via a national phone payment network called Isis, spearheaded by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Besides negating the need to pull out your credit card, the "mobile wallet" in your phone is planned to incorporate reward cards, coupons, tickets, and transit passes. Isis will use near-field communication (NFC) technology to make payments. NFC encrypts data for very short-range transmission – a matter of inches. When you need to pay, just launch the Isis app, wave your phone over the machine and you've paid up.

The idea of using your phone to make payments isn't new -- Japan's FeliCa has been around for years – but it's been slow to take hold in America. There have been many pilot programs for cell phone payments over the last decade, but none have gained traction. This time, though, …