PayPal on Wednesday showed off the ability to transfer money and pay by tapping two phones together as it looks to secure its role in the.
PayPal's senior director of mobile operations, Laura Chambers, demonstrated the tap-and-pay move at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco by placing together two Nexus S smartphones (see video below). The phones are equipped with a near-field communications, or NFC chip, which allows for a quick transmission of information--in this case data about the amount of money transferred. The transfer happens through a special PayPal widget.
The demonstration shows PayPal is jumping on the NFC bandwagon, which has been embraced by the likes of Google, payment systems manufacturers such as, and credit card issuers such as and MasterCard. The growing number of players also indicates the crowded room through which a payments provider like PayPal must navigate.
Google also used the Nexus S when it. Bank of America, MasterCard and Research in Motion are testing their own payment system using NFC. The wireless carriers have a joint venture that plans to begin holding NFC trials next year.
PayPal, meanwhile, already handles mobile payments through an application that communicates via a Wi-Fi or a cellular network, or through the mobile browser or text message. It has also experimented with NFC stickers placed on the back of phones, but the tests were limited in scope.