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Payments By Cellular Phone On The Way In U.S.

Industry association NFC Forum on Monday unveiled its technology architecture and announced the first five specifications for near field communications, a wireless short-range technology designed for cashless payments from a cellular phone.

Initial specifications will become available between July and September. The architecture will include specification for a modular NFC device and protocols for interoperable data exchange.

Analysts say the NFC Forum specifications for secure payment and ticketing transactions are backward compatible with the technology infrastructure put in place today by most telecommunications companies, handset manufacturers and other companies required to make the platform work.

NFC also will turn static advertising, such as movie posters, into an interactive experience. The technology embedded into an advertisement, for example, would enable consumers with NFC-enabled smart phones to download ring tones, music and more directly from the poster.

Erik Michielsen, director at ABI Research, began testing a phone with these capabilities in April. The Java-based applet card in the Nokia 3220 lets Michielsen make payments at retail stores that take American Express, MasterCard or Visa.

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