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iCache Geode claims title of first shipping iPhone e-wallet, asks 'who needs NFC?'

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Apple has been sending mixed signals as to whether or not it will bring NFC to the iPhone for mobile payments, but iCache clearly isn't waiting for the technology to show its face -- the company just started shipping its Geode e-wallet. As we saw just a few weeks ago, the Geode simply rolls existing credit and debit cards into a proxy GeoCard that's scanned at the store to handle transactions. Although it demands a specially-made case with an e-paper screen and fingerprint reader, not to mention an app to manage the attached cards, the choice lets an iPhone owner buy goods at all the usual places instead of having to hunt down special terminals. We like the one-card universe it creates, although it's clear the shopper has to carry a lot of the responsibility for making this digital payment dream a reality: at $200 a pop, the Geode's wallet-slimming effect carries a premium, especially since it won't work with anything besides an iPhone 4 or 4S.

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