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Will Credit Cards Become Obsolete?

Some are predicting that paying with plastic might go the way of vinyl records soon.
January 26, 2011

NEW YORK - Mobile devices will soon take the place of credit cards, CNNMoney reports. Some experts predict that this year is the beginning of the end for paying with plastic.

"Your plastic card hasn't changed since the age of the vinyl records," said Michael Abbott, CEO of Isis, which processes payments via mobile devices. "This is the chance to bring payments forward from the plastic age and the vinyl records age to the digital age."

This year will be the year that contactless mobile payments will soar because millions of phones equipped with ability to make such payments will ship in 2011. The pay-by-phone market is expected to generate $22 billion in transactions by 2015, up from "practically none," in 2009, according to the Aite Group.

"Mobile payment is going to get really interesting and is going to see a lot of activity in 2011," said George Peabody, director of emerging technologies at Mercator Advisory Group. "We��re going to start seeing more and more people leaving their homes without their wallets."

However, most predict the change will not occur too quickly. "I definitely believe that the mobile wallet will eventually replace the plastic card -- but it's going to take some time because consumer habits take a long time to change," said Jane Cloninger, director at Edgar Dunn & Co. "But where before it's been a lot of discussion, we're at the point now where you're going to start seeing momentum toward it and going to see it move beyond the trials and into reality."

With Bank of America, Citi, Google, MasterCard, U.S. Bank and Visa all testing contactlass mobile payments, it won��t be too long before more consumers want to pay for everything with their mobile devices. "2011 is going to be a very exciting, very dynamic year when it comes to mobile payments because it's the Wild West again, with all these players positioning in various different ways to redefine the digital payments landscape," said Michael Upton, senior vice president of online and mobile banking at Bank of America.