Cingular is teaming with Nokia and Citigroup and MasterCard Worldwide to trial, from three to six months, new phones that have MasterCard PayPass contactless payment capability that will help the companies evaluate the speed and convenience of the "tap and go" payments using mobile phones. The participants will get a Nokia handset with "near-field communication" (NFC) technology and the MasterCard PayPass payment function built in. The goal is that using the phone participants will be able to make purchases wherever MasterCard's PayPass is accepted by simply holding their phone near the card reader. The amount of money is then taken off from the cell phone subscriber's account. Such system by MasterCard PayPass service is already being tested in New York City subway stations using plastic cards issued by Citibank.
Scott McElroy, vice president of technology realization for Cingular Wireless, said in a statement "Carrying a mobile phone has become almost as common as carrying a wallet. This trial will continue to help us learn more about how NFC technologies work and how customers will want to use their phones as part of their real-world transaction process."
However not only Nokia is exploring this technology. Samsung is also developing devices to be used for payment. Motorola also announced earlier this year that it is building handsets equipped with a specific chip to pay bills.