According to reports from Bloomberg, which the New York Post confirmed with 3 other sources, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile will be launching a mobile payment program that will allow you to pay with a swipe of your smartphone at the cash register.
Assuming everything comes together, the wireless companies will begin testing the system in four cities this fall, including Atlanta, where participants will be able to pay with their iPhones, BlackBerries and other smartphones. Bloomberg reports that the wireless companies have teamed up with Barclays and Discover to handle the financial aspects of the mobile payment system.
In the past year we have seen new entrants to the mobile payment industry, which have tried to provide consumers with the ability to make payments from their smartphones such as Venmo and recently the VISA iPhone case, but the alliance of wireless carriers who can build the technology inside the phone could foster adoption by consumers and retailers that we have not seen.
A large industry force like Walmart is what Andy Miller, CEO of digital loyalty card app CardStar, told WalletPop it would take to bring mobile payments to the U.S. while discussing the ability to use your smartphone at the cash register. AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile aren't retailing giants, but they could lead the creation of a mobile payment standard that makes it easier for retailers to offer smartphone payments to customers no matter what phone they are using.
In an e-mail to WalletPop, Peter Dobrow, director of external relations for T-Mobile USA, said. "T-Mobile does not comment on rumor or speculation. We're always developing new, exciting and convenient features to offer our customers, and mobile payment has flourished in other areas around the globe. But we have nothing to announce at this time."