11 years ago
By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and CLAIRE CAIN MILLER
March 23, 2011
The cellphone has been more than a cellphone for years, but soon it
could take on an entirely new role - standing in for all of the
credit and debit cards crammed into wallets.
Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers
would merely wave their phones.
There's just one hitch: While the technology is already being
installed in millions of phones - and is used overseas - wide
adoption of the so-called mobile wallets is being slowed by a major
behind-the-scenes battle among corporate giants.
Mobile phone carriers, banks, credit card issuers, payment networks
and technology companies are all vying to control these wallets. But
first, they need to sort out what role each will play and how each
will get paid.
The stakes are enormous because small, hidden fees that are generated
every time consumers swipe their cards add up to tens of billions of
dollars annually in the United States alone.