Contactless Payment Comes to Cell Phones
Flash your handset and buy. An industry group wants to bring that facility to the world. But is it secure? And who gets what share of the profits?
Thirsty? Short of cash? As long as you’ve got your mobile phone with you in Japan, that’s not a problem: simply by pressing your handset onto a sensor on a vending machine, you can buy a can of Coke.
Such "contactless" forms of mobile commerce have been a hit with consumers in Japan and a handful of other Asian countries for several years. But now an industry group of handset makers, mobile operators, and service providers have been working feverishly to develop a universal standard that will give it widespread appeal.