Smart phones could someday replace credit cards

The vision for the next advancement in mobile payments is to allow people to leave home without their keys or wallet and only their smartphones.

"The promise of the mobile wallet is you'll be able to manage your entire financial life from a single device," Andy Schmidt, the research director for commercial banking and payments at TowerGroup, said, reports.

With retail and technology partners like Citi, MasterCard, First Data, Sprint, Bloomingdale’s Macy’s, RadioShack, Subway and Walgreen, among others, Google has already taken a major step towards this vision when it unveiled its test pilot of the Google Wallet in May.

By the end of the year, Google Wallet will have competition from the ISIS mobile commerce network, whose wireless carriers include AT&T and Verizon Wireless, who have teamed with American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover, reports.

Other well-known companies have joined to race to become the leader in making mobile payments practical.

Merchants are adapting as well and are investing in mobile payments acceptance technology such as Intuit, which has a Go Payment reader that snaps onto certain Android, BlackBerry and Apple iOS devices. It also turns compatible phones and tablets into credit card readers, reports.

A few obstacles are standing in the way of a perfect mobile payments world, such as consumers concern about losing their phones, although reports that losing a smartphone is safer than losing a wallet because it can be automatically shut down and is password protected.

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