Nokia, carriers sign pact on mobile wallet project

Handset leader Nokia and mobile telecoms carriers have agreed on a global initiative to turn cell phones into wallets, a wireless telecoms interest group, quoted by a Reuters report, said.

The Reuters report said consumers will be able to use a phone as a wallet or as an access card simply by waving it over a wireless reader, and in some cases punching a PIN number into the phone, similar to how travelers in Tokyo and London access public transport.

'After several fragmented initiatives, the mobile phone industry is now uniting around a single approach to enabling the mobile phone to be used, instead of cash or plastic credit card, at point of sale,' said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSM Association, the global trade association for cell phone operators, was quoted by the Reuters report a saying.

The report added that large European and Asian carriers KPN, Maxis Communications, Mobilkom Austria, O2 , Orange , SFR, SingTel, SKT, and Wind joined 14 cell phone operators which initiated the project several months ago.

Nokia, alongside two other major cell phone makers Samsung and LG Electronics, will embed a wireless chip into its phones, the report said.

The world's biggest payment card company, MasterCard, is also involved in the initiative, which is cheaper and much faster than other wireless payment experiments, like those using SMS text messages, the report added.

Trials with the new standard are set to start in October, the report further said.

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