T-Mobile Working To Replace Your Credit Card With Your Phone

So on these slow news day we’ll just have to talk about something that doesn’t involve the latest smartphone heading to T-Mobile. That doesn’t mean the news can’t be as big, just not nearly as exciting.

This morning Bloomberg reported that T-Mobile, along with Verizon and AT&T are looking to replace your credit cards. Well not replace the cards, but at least replace them physically as your smartphone would be used as a payment system. Achieved through a “wave” of the phone over a base station.  Right now Discover Card seems to be leading this demonstration and will be similar to systems already in place in Japan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. There is no word on whether or not this will work with current phones, require an application or what but with trials already underway in Atlanta and elsewhere, hopefully we’ll find out more soon enough.

T-Mobile remained mum on the project but this just seems like the logical next step as smartphones truly begin to replace our wallets and home computers. So let us know in the comments below, would you rather carry your mobile phone than plastic? I know that I love the idea of convergence so the less I have to carry around with me, the better. I’m not sure I’m 100% ready to give up cash, but I like the idea of using my phone to pay for things, since it’s the one thing I always have close by. What say you?



  • M&M

    My phones is more plastic that the cards

  • ob18

    great another way to have your info stolen.

    • Cupcake

      Exactly! There is already enough info floating around in cyberspace and now another way for the crooks to figure out how to hack out cell phones? No thanks!!

    • MyNamesNotRick

      Yeah, I’m good.
      Thanks but no thanks.

  • jay

    With the latest demonstration of GSM hacking, security is the first concern that comes to mind. No, I will stick to my cash and cards for now – thanks very much

  • vibrant/hd2 user

    Well I replaced Wm with android 2.2 on my hd2 and I’m not looking back. Everything works like the phone was built for it. Oh yeah using my phone as a form of payment sound interesting and scary at the same time. I hope I don’t loose my phone!!

    • trollface. jpg

      It’s “lose” not “loose”. Those are two totally different words with two totally different meanings.

      • vibrant/hd2 user

        Sorry for the grammatical error please read all of my previous post and the ones here after and correct as needed thanks. Anyway., 2.2 is stable I’m testing it out this week to see how many times it may crash. Everything works so far used GPS to get to work, took pics, and even downloaded apps from the market!!

      • CMK

        @trollface.jpg Thank you! No offense to the perps but the misuse of “loose” and “lose” drives me crazy as well.

      • Vocab Police

        It’s not even actually grammar at that point. It’s a simple ignorance of vocabulary (which I would argue is much worse).

    • Davidohio

      Oh the grammer police are on the loose! Ugh. Anyway, how is android 2.2 working on the HD2? Is it pretty stable? That is great that you can do that now!

      • johnnyonthespot

        Wait…are the grammar police on the lose or on the loose? lol.

      • cybersedan

        HD2 with 2.2 here. Stable enough I guess.

  • hi!


  • Emil Ghoting

    Love the idea, but not the security breach possibilities

  • mikeeeee

    why all the fear?

    just keep your credit balance low and just load what you need into the card.

    they’ll assume liability just like with plastic.

    motoblur will let you kill a phone OTA.

    if i wasn’t so broke, i’d sign up for it today.

    be really neat if they develop an EZ PASS app too.

  • parahelium

    I don’t mind to try only if service is free. Forget it if its not free.

    • Davidohio

      Free! Free! Free! Don’t be so cheap.

      • Derrick

        It’s gotta be free…the concept of paying money to use your money is kinda retarded.

  • Wilma Flintstone

    Hey David, Is the Vision/Vangaurd/G1 Blaze/Unicorn the same as the Vision/Desire Z? According to this article on Gsmarena, there may be another phone called the Vision that is supposed to be a GSM “flavored” HTC Evo:

    Article from GSMArena:

    If so then, YEEEESSSSS!!!!! I’ll be Honored to have that version of the Vision!!! WOOHOO!!!!! A Tmobile Evo is what I want.

    • ceas

      umm i think you miss understood that article… “HTC Ace/Desire HD is a GSM flavored HTC Evo 4G.” not the vision/desire z…

      • Wilma Flintstone

        Yeah I did. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • vibrant/hd2 user

      I have a T-Mobile evo right here on my hd2!!

      • Wilma Flintstone

        yeah, with no amoled screen, no ffc and no real android updates, unfortunately I think the way you did it is the closest that Tmo will get to a Tmobile Evo. I need to root my hd2 too but I keep getting defective units. It’s pointless to put android on a unit that has hardware issues. :(

        I am on my 3rd defective unit and don’t really want to call it in because I may get another defective unit. Basically I’m tired of replacing my phone only to get another defective unit.

        My 1st defective unit had software issues that kept deleting my contacts around every 2 days.

        My 2nd defective unit had hardware issues that the speaker went out on it and the only way to hear was through headphones.

        My 3rd one (the one I’m typing on now) the GPS doesn’t work on it through google maps or bing. It will say “searching for gps satellites” and it will sit there until an error message saying that “it couldn’t find any” comes up.

      • Hecg55

        @ wilma f… Hey what phone did you have? I’m having issues with my vibrant. Speaker is sounding weird, internet force closing and I was getting disconnected from t mobile all together.. I’m trying to get a new one but they keep troubleshooting me.. question for ALL. If I still an under buyers remorse and get a new phone that means it has to be a brand new one in a new box correct? or will they send just the unit itself? Thanks for your help!

      • Wilma Flintstone

        it’s in my post like 5 times. Haaa! Anywho, it’s the HD2. Sorry you’re having issues with the vibrant too, it’s not a good feeling.

        As I stated, I’m on my 3rd HD2 and need another replacement because the gps in this one doesn’t work at all. Yeah, I’ve dealt with the Tmo Customer Service over 30 times with troubleshooting all these HD2’s I’ve been through. The answer all of them come up with, Even in the HD2 department is “Do a master reset” because they don’t know what to do. I’ve done that a few times and it only made matters worse.

        So now when I talk with customer service and they say that, I just hang up on them. I know it’s a bit rude but if I paid for this phone outright for $450, this thing should work. It’s rebooting like 5 times a day too. It’s safe to say that I have not had a good experience with the HD2.

        To answer your question, They’ll probably just send you the unit. I’m not sure how replacements with getting a different phone works. I want to replace this HD2 with a new device but Tmo doesn’t have a phone worth changing to right now in my opinion so it kinda sucks. :(

  • reveng

    They could implement fingerprint scanning like on the Japanese phones. Now unless someone has your same prints, then I would say you are pretty safe. And the security on Japanese phones are crazy, you can’t even brute force them unlocked. I’ve owned a couple and forgot my password a couple times too.

  • Kent

    All you users with security concerns:

    1) Haven’t heard about this being a problem in the multiple countries in which this system has been in place for years.

    2) At least, not more so than security concerns related to actual credit cards. That system is pretty freaking easy to exploit, especially since a huge portion of retailers use unsecured wifi networks to transmit your card data when you make a purchase in store.

    Which is easier to hack — your phone, or an unsecured wifi network? Hint: it’s not the one that fits in your pocket.

    • rickb928

      European merchants that use unsecured WiFi to connect their terminals are not blathering your card details all over the air. EMV (EUROMastercardandVisa) cards send encrypted data to the terminal, which keeps it encrypted over a phone line or WiFi. It gets decrypted at the processor, and the chip in the EMV card has to agree all is well before things are done.

      Look for extra wires coming from the terminal. The only good hack out there is a shim that lets someone read the card, mess with the data, and then give it to the terminal; a two-sided connector strip. Even this is unusually difficult to mess with, and usually is used to force the terminal into off-line mode, where it just auths the card like any other transaction but doesn’t write to the chip. Then it runs another transaction with the card.

  • Esh

    I wouldn’t mind it if it was setup to charge to your phone bill and not even need your credit card info @ all. It wouldn’t even need to be in the phone. You just have your phone scanned by way of an APP of some kind and keep going. That would be awesome. However, I know its not being setup that way so I’m not trusting of this.

    @Kent as far the “easier to hack” things goes. If the system becomes popular, it’ll be treated just like Windows which is hacked to death ONLY because its the most popular OS on the planet and thus worth the effort. Unlike linux and mac which are no where near as popular and so hackers don’t care as much to target them.

  • RyanG

    Is it really that much of a hassle to carry a thin piece of plastic?

    You still need your wallet don’t you???????

  • Wtf… why is the original droid getting 2.2 this week while i’m still waiting for 2.1 on my cliq xt… this is total bullsh*t motorola

    • Presto117

      Because the Droid uses stock Android, so it’s easier and the droid is much more powerful, so also easier. That, and the Droid is hue mow successful Android phone to date, so there are more customers to cater to. And the carriers also have a big hand in it. Verizon is pushing to get all of their top of the line Android phones to get 2.2 soon.

      • It’s still bs

  • going_home

    I heard this technology has been used in Europe for some time now.
    Go to Walmart and pay the bill using your phone.
    Just another way to worry about losing your money.
    I dont see Americans jumping on this bandwagon.


  • John

    Are they trying to use the phone as an alternate data path for transaction authorization (i.e. remove the need for a phone / modem link at the point of sale)? The article I read says it requires a new chip in the phone, so does that invalidate most of the phones on the market already?

    Its an interesting experiment. For security, I hope they use a randomly generated card number, much like Discover and Visa already offer for online transactions.

    • 2FR35H

      That or it will go through encrypted.

  • Huh? Are they going essentially do what my Credit Card’s RFID chip does, but more extensible? Well I’m not buying a new phone for that feature, nor will I be paying for it.

  • This is very tempting. I will wait untill they work the kinks out.

  • To all of you slowpokes out there, sooner or later, you’ll have to adapt.

    Imagine a close future where you need one device with you for everything including picture ID, monetary transactions, communications, etc. If you lose it, you can have it wiped out and all transactions from the date and time of the loss are put on hold. Anyone uses it gives away his/her position, face photo, fingerprint, etc.

    Could be a great thing. Any new technology brings its share of security issues, but, in general, no one in his right mind want to go back to the way we used to do things 50 years ago.

    Of course, not everyone likes things to change every few weeks, but, hey, that’s how it is. And it will only get faster in the future.

    Remember the dinosaurs. :-)

  • Reece

    Everyone now = “no I don’t want this, security concerns!!”


    • joshuakprice1

      Amen brother! But I’m not sure if you are saying that people should get behind this now, or that in a few months people won’t be able to think for themselves when it comes to security concerns. Personally I see a HUGE loss of conveniance, unless battery technology gets a lot better. “I’m sorry waiter, I was going to pay for all this food, but my phone died…”

    • TonyJohns


      True, Very True!

  • NiiDiddy

    I think it’s a crazy move to use phones as credit cards—if that’s what I am gathering. Until we get more details on it, –I’d say for now that, I sure would be “borrowing” and using my friend’s “phone” a lot if I knew that was his new medium of “payment” lol!!!

  • tortionist

    Nothing in life is truly free. There either comes an expectation attached with it, or you get ripped off. Especially if you don’t read the fine print. I avoid free like the plague.

    • 2FR35H

      Air and Water is truly free. The Behold 2 I have is free and off contract that was truly free. Sure there are costs behind near everything but not everyone pays that price hence its free. You have a stupid mindset avoiding free hah. BTW if its free its not a rip off because its still free. rip offs are only when you pay a price for an item and you receive something entirely different. gtfo with your low life thinking. Expectations are not equivalent to costs either.

  • Fish

    If you lose your wallet you have to call x amount of people to cancel cards and get sent new ones. If you lose your phone u can just call ur provider, you don’t need new cards sent out to you, you can even use yor cards until u get a new phone.

    Good idea in theory imo

  • i dont think ill ever be able to get on board with an idea like this, simply because i work at a theatre, and i know how often people lose their cellphones. i just cant get behind having that much personal information on a relatively simple thing to lose/misplace.

  • ulysses salcido
  • Vicosphi

    Finally we are going to have it :)
    Can’t wait when we can use our phone as a badge for access controlled system with NFC :)

  • Does no one on here know about Near Field Communication? There are so many fear comments, but wake up, guys, this transition is inevitable. I already use my phone’s screen to scan coupons, board a plane, and get vip access at nightclubs. I remember years ago when people would say things like: navigation systems in cars are just silly toys for the rich, cell phones will never replace my point and shoot camera, I don’t need a music player on my phone-I already have an iPod, I can check my e-mail from my home computer why use my phone, etc. Fearing these things slows progress.
    I was tired of asking for directions in 1998 so I got a Lexus with navigation, was tired of carrying a camera around in 2006 so I got a Nokia N93 (first phone to record DVD quality video), was tired of standing in line to get into clubs in 2001 so I signed up for SoBeSpots (show your phone to the bouncer and get access to many bars on SouthBeach), was tired of those stupid magnetic strips wearing out on my credit cards in 2007 so I got Chase Bank with Blink (just hold your card close to the register and you don’t need to sign or use your pin #), was tired of cutting out coupons in 2007 so I started scanning barcodes for stores/airport, was tired of only being able to access the full internet with Adobe Flash on my desktop in 2008 so I got a Nokia N900 (the first phone to have full Flash support), my cell phone has already replaced my TV remote control, wireless webcam, & music player, and I can go on & on…
    I’ve been tired of having pieces of plastic & paper currency in my wallet since 2003 when NFC came out. I want progress!
    And don’t bring up futile arguments about how unsafe it ‘could’ be-people already sift through the garbage for SSN’s, look over your shoulder to see your pin #, place devices on ATM’s to scan your card, write code to steal your info online, etc. Everyone thought credit cards would bring certain doom, but they’re replacing cash. People are terrified of putting a cut up credit card in the garbage, let alone a recycling bin-millions more pieces of plastic that will rot for 10’s of thousands of years.

    Read about NFC:

  • just some dude

    About freaken time, dont worry guys you will love this. Ive used this method in Europe for the last three years or so. Its great, your at a cafe or restaurant the waiter comes with a reader, you wave your phone in front of it, the amount displays on your phone, you authorize and its paid. You get an email receipt. And to those who say its not secure and GSM has been cracked it took 20 years to crack it. it will take another 20 to crack this relax.

  • Nev

    Um, I’m all for this but let’s be for real, cash is never going to be totally replaced. There will always be a need for anonymous transactions, and the only way to do that is with cash.

    • just some dude

      Not if our government has to say anything about it. They would love a digital paper trail for all transactions.

  • bbman

    i think its a good concept, ppl are scared probably like when the first credit card came out, but i think over time it will get used more

  • Housetek

    my japanese prepaid phone was kinda like a credit card, i could pay for things at stores and buy things from vending machines by just holding it up to the scanner.

    I could also buy train tickets and bus tickets and pay cab fair with it, as long as i had enough money in my account.

    once again USA is way behind on modern tech.

  • rickb928

    I’m getting that this is an NFC (Near-Field Communication) implementation, similar to an RFID tag, ad a lot like the Paypass or ExpressPay methods. Wave the phone at a terminal and poof, transaction!

    This could also be done by putting a sticker inside the battery compartment. Sounds to me like the carriers are trying to get this in phones before the issuers start mailing out stickers. Whoever gets the lead in mind share wins. Maybe.

    • just some dude

      yeah they are scrambling to be the first to get the first profits that will trickle in, but eventually all will have it.

  • Winmoalso

    I’ve already used my phone as a boarding pass on a domestic flight. It was cool with no paper to lose or is that loose? Payments seem like a logical next step, even as fare cards for the metro.

  • jcomputerguy

    I agree another way for info to be stolen..actualy the best credit card is a prepaid credit card,you put as much as you want on it and unable to spend any more,for an example you can puit $ 1000.00 on the card and then use it for your monthly bills or gas food etc.. and you dont get a bill in the mail..very cool idea.but as far as replacing my credit cards.no thanks.. ps LOL Gramer Police