Bank of America will start testing a system next month that would allow people to pay New York-area merchants through their mobile phones instead of swiping plastic credit or debit cards.

New York City taxis, Walgreen drugstores, Home Depot and McDonald's in the region will be able to accept the mobile payments. The service may be expanded if the test goes well.

Wireless carriers are looking to enter the U.S. payments market dominated by Visa and MasterCard, the world's biggest card networks. AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the two largest U.S. mobile carriers, may begin testing phone payments at stores in four cities by the middle of next year, according to Bloomberg.

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are also developing their own technology that would work with mobile phones. Such a system is already in use in the U.K., Japan, Turkey and South Korea.

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