Motorola will add NFC payment function to cell phones

Short-range wireless technology can be used for payment, identification and communication

Motorola Inc. is the latest company to move towards adding a payment function based on Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology to its line of cell phones, the company announced Tuesday.

NFC is a short-range wireless technology that can be used for a variety of functions, such as payment, identification and communication. When used for communications, NFC can allow a handset to wirelessly transfer a digital photograph to an NFC-enabled television or download digital music files from a computer.

The technology is also used in contactless smart cards for payment and transport systems in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Motorola plans to begin trials of NFC-enabled phones in the U.S. later this year, the company said. The phones will be used with MasterCard International Inc.'s PayPass payment service, it said. Motorola did not specify where the trials will take place.

NFC-based payment functions have already been announced by several handset vendors, including Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. Ltd., Sharp Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. They will make products compatible with a payment system developed by Felica Networks Inc., a joint venture between NTT DoCoMo Inc. and Sony Corp.

Nokia Corp. and Samsung Electronics. Co. Ltd. have also announced plans to incorporate NFC-based payment functions in their respective handset lines.

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