From The year of mobile payments

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Mobile devices, and particularly smartphones, are building a silent revolution, happening at the edges of the mainstream. While many are playing Angry Birds or checking in at Foursquare, entrepeneurs have been discussing and engineering a new set of of technologies and hardware that will deeply transform commerce and culture.

The first few weeks of 2011 are rather elusive of how the talk around mobile payments will get louder. From the lively discussion at Peter Paul Koch’s blog to the recent announcement of Google allowing operator billing for their Android platform, things will get really, really interesting.

If you need further examples how deeply this affects our lives, just think about a world where you’ll travel without your credit cards, as they’ve been replaced by secure SIM cards and upcoming NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies.

A light demo by Timo Arnall of NFC applications

With early experiments by Touchatag or Square (from Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey) setting the stage, higher smartphone penetration will pave the way to new forms of commerce. What marketing can do on top of it is left to explore.

Mobile Wallet Demo by Toon Coppens of Touchatag

Kevin Rose (of Digg) demoing Square

Robert Scoble interview to Zong’s CEO David Marcus

Carmobili: loyalty cards on your mobile phone (plug: Carmobili is a portuguese company)

Imagine going to a vending machine and all you need is to swipe your phone to get a soda. Or buying a coffee on Starbucks without leaving your seat. Oh wait … they’ve just announced mobile payments.

So, there you have it. The year of mobile payments.

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