Just Tap & Go with your Cingular mobile

Cingular, one of the major cellular networks in the US, has announced it is working with Citibank, MasterCard and Nokia to develop a technology that allows a credit or debit card function to be downloaded into a Nokia mobile phone.

The idea is to leap-frog ahead of the MasterCard Paypass and Visa Wave RFID card programs currently being tested around the world, and use an NFC (Near Field Communications)-enabled mobile to act as a token for buying things.

Known as Tap&Go, the technology will be trialled amongst Cingular subscribers in the New York area for between three and six months early on in the New Year.

Triallists will be required to operate a Citibank card and a Nokia phone on the Cingular network.

The plan is for the phones to be used anywhere that a Paypass card can be used in New York, as well as on the New York subway, which is currently trialling an Oystercard lookalike card program.

Sounds like a great idea - until you lose your mobile...