Next-generation hybrid SIM/credit card unveiled

Telstra, the Ozzie cellco, in conjunction with the National Australia Bank (NAB) and Visa, has developed an advanced SIM card that doubles up as a Visa PayWave unit.

The card interfaces with an NFC (near field communications) chipset in the mobile phone, allowing punters to - quite literally - pay with a wave of their phone.

Plans call for a trial of the service - which has not yet been named - to start in Melbourne in early 2008 with 250 NAB customers.

According to Telstra, around 30 store locations in Melbourne will be equipped with the readers for the trial, although punters will also be able to use PayWave terminals elsewhere in the world.

The SIM is reported to be so sophosticated that it can carry multiple credit and debit card details, as well as public transport ticket information and even supermarket loyalty card numbers.

"Instead of having a wallet or purse full of plastic cards, you could soon have them all supported on a single Telstra mobile phone, providing enhanced security and convenience," said David Thodey, Telstra's Group managing director...