; Pocket Change
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Pocket Change

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After years of talk, wireless carriers, banks, startups, and handset makers are now actively working to transform Americans' cell phones into mobile wallets. The goal: to snag a share of the processing fees associated with the $3.2 trillion in annual retail credit-card charges, and to turn the $1.2 trillion in cash and check spending into digital transactions. For the past five-plus years, Visa and MasterCard have used near-field communications (NFC) chips in tap-to-pay credit cards and key fobs. Analysts estimate NFC will become ubiquitous within the next three to five years, which will give wireless carriers newfound leverage in determining the future of the mobile wallet.

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