BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — During a Samsung developer conference here at Mobile World Congress this morning, the Korean company unveiled a new service called Samsung Wallet, which lets Samsung smartphone owners turn tickets, coupons, membership cards, boarding passes, and more into digital cards that they can store in a virtual wallet.
The service probably sounds familiar, and it is — Samsung Wallet is basically Apple’s Passbook, but for Samsung phones. It works in almost exactly the same way, and looks very similar, too.
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If you need to take the G Train in New York City or pay for a cab you’re jumping uptown, you now have a new way to pay for your ride: with your iPhone.
Visa has just announced that they have inked deals with the New York City subway to let you simply display your iPhone in front of a kiosk or turnstile in select locations as part of a trial of their payWave system.
What’s payWave?It’s essentially just Visa smart chip circuitry that allows you to wave a credit card or payWave-equipped device in front of a cash register, no signature or pin codes required.
Since the iPhone doesn’t have payWave circuity installed by default, if you want to use it with your iPhone, you need to use a specially designed payWave case to graft the functionality onto your handset.
If you’re willing to pick up one of those, though, you can start helping VIsa test out the service Think of the possibilities! While all those other suckers wait in line to recharge their Metro Cards, you’ll be able to breeze past the turnstiles with an Obi-Wan-style wave of your iPhone.
Pretty neat, but eventually, you can probably expect your iPhone to handle this sort of thing natively. Apple’s been doing some hiring and some research into Near Field Communications, and that, more likely than not, means that a few years down the line, you won’t need a special case: your iPhone will be your credit card.