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Toss out your wallet, keep your phone

08/03/10 06:00 AM

There are a few things you always make sure you have when you leave the house: keys, wallet, phone. What if you could skip the wallet?

Imagine going to the grocery store, getting all the stuff you need, and then, when you’re at the cash register and it’s time to pay, you don’t need to bother digging up your debit card. Instead you reach your phone, waggle it around a bit, and you’re on your way.

And hey - why stop there? If your financial information can be on there, why not your driver’s license too? Why not your ID card at work? Your library card?

Sounds futuristic but it may be fast approaching. Wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are reportedly about to start testing a technology known as Near Field Communications or Contactless Payment in a few different cities. Everything you would need from your wallet would be on your phone.

We talk to Marc Rysman, Associate Professor of Economics at Boston University, about how the technology works. We also speak to Rachel Schneider, Innovation Director at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, about how the technology could be made even simpler, maybe just a sticker on the outside of a phone or anywhere you cared to put it.

Filed Under: phones wireless at&t verizon t-mobile

the Blog

Future Tense becomes Marketplace Tech Report

09/17/10 06:12 PM

Hi everyone. John Moe here. Starting Monday, September 20th, Future Tense will be going by the name Marketplace Tech Report.

Producer Larissa Anderson and I have been working closely with the folks at Marketplace ever since we took over Future Tense in May. It’s worked out great. We’ve helped them, they’ve helped us, and together we’ll find more stories you’ll want to hear. Basically, we loved Marketplace so much we married them. And kind of took their name too. Is it creepy to compare two radio shows to a married couple? Sorry about that.

As part of the Marketplace portfolio of programs (along with Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report, and Marketplace Money), Marketplace Tech Report will keep bringing you stories that explain news and trends and technology and what it all means to you. We’ll be moving to a new simpler URL:, which will go live over the weekend. We’ll be bringing our entire archive of past shows and blog posts with us but in the meantime, we’re leaving up so you can access the show archives from there as well.

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