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Smartphone payment systems in pilot testing
January 11, 2011
Many companies have initiated testing of systems that allow consumers to make credit card purchases with near-field communication chips in their smartphones, and Wells Fargo is just the latest to join the fray. In the near future, about 200 employees at Well Fargo’s San Francisco offices will begin testing a payment system that allows consumers to make payments with near-field communications enabled smartphones, according to a report from Businessweek. The six-month pilot program could be rolled out to the wider public soon if it proves successful. “We have made an investment in this technology, and we hope this investment pays off,” Peter Ho, product manager for card services at Wells Fargo, told the news agency. Ho was also the mastermind behind an attempt to integrate debit payments into smartphones several years ago, the report said. But the program failed because NFC was only available in one type of phone at the time. Wells Fargo is the latest bank to attempt to launch a credit card payment system in recent months. Others, such as Bank of America, have already ended pilot testing, but have not yet rolled out these programs to the general public.