Contactless payments made using your phone are hardly a new idea in themselves, but when three of the big four US carriers decide to unite behind it, the time might have come to start paying closer attention. Bloomberg reports that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are about to test the NFC payment waters with pilot schemes in Atlanta and three other cities, potentially aided by partnerships with Discover Financial Services and British bankers Barclays Plc. This would require all-new readers for merchants and embedded NFC chips in phones, but we reckon plenty of people might be happy to pay a small premium to streamline their lives that little bit more and leave the plastic behind. Either way, Visa's nascent attempts at conquering the mobile just got themselves a big old cabal-sized competitor.

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AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile team up to transform your smartphone into a credit card