Will That Be Credit, Debit, or Cellphone?

Next-gen tech gives cash-free shoppers more options
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2007 4:41 PM CDT
Cellular South project manager Steve Davidson demonstrates new technology that will allow users to make credit-card purchases and even buy candy bars out of a vending machine with a phone call or signal...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Shoppers in the not-too-distant future may have a new option when they get to the checkout line: their cell phones. Many retailers are warming up to the idea of consumers using "contactless" payment methods—cellphones or cards with a built-in wireless chips that can process transactions with a simple tap, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Some 300,000 no-longer-cash registers can already handle contactless payments. Retailers, though eager for speedier transactions, have not yet figured out how—or how soon—they'll collaborate with banks and wireless providers. Still, one start-up founder says, "The iPhone has shown that if it's compelling enough everyone will play ball."