Apple hires NFC expert to manage mobile commerce, prepare to pay with your iPhone

Don't look now, but things may be getting real on the pay-with-your-cell-phone front, as Cupertino's hired a man with years of experience in enabling just that to finally get 'er done. According to his LinkedIn profile, Benjamin Vigier is Apple's new Product Manager of Mobile Commerce, immediately following his handiwork on PayPal Mobile, Sprint MyMoneyManager and the iPhone-based Starbucks Card. Before that, he spent two years heading SanDisk's mobile commerce and near-field communication efforts and over a year doing NFC for Bouygues Telecom, so it's not much of a stretch to imagine the futuristic concert tickets depicted in Apple's recent patent applications might become reality before long. Either that, or he'll wind up on a completely unrelated project, only to leave under mysterious circumstances later on.