Banks And Wireless Carriers To Test Smartphone Credit Cards

Barclays bank has teamed up with three US-based wireless services providers to test new technology that allows customers to make payments from their smartphones.

According to The Telegraph, the bank is working with AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to install a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag inside widely used smartphones such as RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone devices.

The RFID will link the smartphones to users' bank accounts, allowing them to simply wave their smartphones in front of a reader to make payments.

Financial news site Bloomberg reports that the companies are planning trials of the new technology in Atlanta and three other US cities. Credit card company Discover is set to handle all payment processing on its network, and Barclays will manage the bank accounts.

None of the companies has so far confirmed or denied the report.

If the trials are successful, it would result in a huge change in payment methods in the US, where credit cards, rather than debit cards, tend to be the most popular method of payment.