Paying bills by swiping your phone

August 3, 2010 2:50:53 PM PDT
You already use it to make phone calls, send e-mails, surf the web. But what if you could use your smart phone to say buy your groceries?

"It's very convenient. You don't have to wait on line. You don't have to run it through the machine. You don't have to sign. You just swipe and go," said Tyshawn Hannah.

Now word is out that AT&T, Verizon wireless and T-mobile are all working together in secret to develop a mobile payment service. It sounds nice, but industry watchdogs say don't expect it anytime soon.

"Manufacturers are not delivering phones that are ready to do this. So that means until you can convince all the manufacturers to start to make it a regular part of the phone, we're not going to be using our phones as credit cards," said Lance Ulanoff with

Another possible hurdle to the success of a swipe and go smart phone, is carrying around your credit card really that much of a burden? Is paying with a credit card really that inconvenient?"

"Why will consumers want this as opposed to what has work so well. And that is one of the things that has held back mobile payments, you know your phone is your wallet. Well it turns out your wallet works pretty well," said Michael Gartenberg, with Altimeter Group.

Fraud is another big concern. But despite all the obstacles, the push is on for digital wallets. Wireless providers already plan a trial run of a mobile payment system in several U.S. cities later this year.