Smartphones could replace using plastic for purchases at stores.
It’s the closest many of us have ever come to mobile payments: watching the person ahead of us at Starbucks buy a latte with a smartphone. Or seeing someone at Chipotle skip ahead in line. Or watching over some dude’s shoulder at Rite Aid, as he taps his Android smartphone against the card machine on the counter.
But these aren’t just blips: They signal a concerted campaign by major companies — from some of the biggest big-box retailers to the mobile phone carriers — for more control over how our money moves.