Silicon Valley is looking to replace your worn-out wallet.

And some of the biggest names are looking to replace your credit and debit cards with a technology called near-field-communication (NFC) on your smartphone to make your purchases.

NFC lets devices transmit data such as payment information, loyalty points and coupons by tapping them against specially equipped cash registers.

In 2014, 340 million global mobile users will use mobile payments, with such transactions totaling $245 billion, up from $32 billion last year, according to Gartner.

The number of phones with NFC will double in 2012, from 35 million shipped this year, consultant ABI Research estimated.

A lot of companies are betting that 2011 is the year NFC takes off in the US, and are working on their own NFC payment solutions.

Here are some of the solutions being thought of by the major players:

* Google: The search giant has a leg up on the competition through its Android operating system, which already includes NFC support.

Google has reportedly entered into contract talks with Mastercard, VeriFone and Citigroup to study an NFC payment system that could launch later this year.

* Apple: The iPhone maker is thought to be adding NFC to the iPhone 5. Apple has been testing an NFC system on its corporate campus, but is still undecided on its rollout.

* AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile: Three of the major wireless networks teamed up late last year to form Isis, to enable the use of NFC technology in their phones.

* Amazon: The e-commerce giant is reportedly exploring the idea of its own mobile payment service to compete with Apple and Google.

Amazon already has Amazon Payments, and has popular apps on both iOS and Android, but it doesn’t have an NFC product.

* Microsoft: The software giant is eyeing getting into the mobile payments game.

It hopes to get NFC into its mobile OS later this year.

Source: NYPost.com
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