Your Smartphone Might Replace Your Wallet Soon

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are going to war with the plastic in your wallet. According to Bloomberg, the three companies are pushing to make mobile payments—where a wave of your phone replaces a credit car swipe—the new standard.

The three may work with Discover and Barclays to test a system in four US cities including Atlanta. It's not that phone-based payments don't already exist; they've been internationally popular for some time, and stateside programs like Visa's payWave (pictured above) and Square turn your phone into a minilender.

But this unified approach, while cumbersome for retailers in need of new readers and handset manufacturers having to embed new NFC chips in phones, would create a lot less confusion at check-out time than a mess of competing technologies. And I've always wondered what it would be like to be a Discover card owner, or even to meet one. [Bloomberg]