updated 04:20 pm EST, Thu December 14, 2006
Credit Card Phones in NYC
A test service has been launched in New York City that will let Americans pay for items wirelessly through their cellphones. Called simply the NYC Mobile Trial, the test is a collaboration between Citibank and cellphone designer Nokia that takes advantage of near-field communications (NFC) to tap a subscriber's bank account or MasterCard and transmit money directly to stores, which are currently limited to select retail shops and subway stations. Japanese cellphone users have been able to use NFC systems such as FeliCa to pay for service in recent years, but the technology has generally met resistance in North America due to less refined cellphones and security fears.
New York City residents have until December 20th to sign up for the Mobile Trial and will receive a custom Nokia phone alongside free access to the payment service, but will need to hold both a Cingular wireless plan and a Citibank account.