Morning Note: Retail Purchases — There's an App for That

Want to buy your latte via phone? There's already an app for that. And new "wave and pay" technology could soon expand the number of retailers accepting phones as payments.

New chips embedded in next generation iPhones and iPads will enable phones to be used like credit cards and cash at retail stores by waving the phone at the register. The prospect excites Fast Money Trader Brian Kelly. “Apple’s technology is really interesting,” said Kanundrum Capital’s founder.

Apple’ssoon-to-be released iPads and iPhones will come equipped with so-called “near field communication technology” capable of storing credit card information, according to analyst reports. The equipment would essentially add another app for the iPhone5 — retail purchases.

Customers can already pay via phone at select Starbucks locations. The coffee giant began testing a Starbucks card mobile app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry last fall that enabled users to pay by waving their phone in front of a register. Starbucks said earlier this month that it would expand the program to all 6,800 stores and 1,000 Starbucks kiosks in Targets.

Apple is not the first to work on mobile phone payments. Online retailer eBay released a mobile PayPal app last year that allows users to “bump” select smart phones against registers in select stores. Apple reportedly hired the same NFC experts who worked with PayPal and Starbucks to help with its iPhone payment plan.

Google’s Android operating system also supports mobile payment apps and Google has announced that its Android 2.3 system will have NFC capabilities. Nokia included NFC chips into its C7 smart phone last year and it has said new Android phones will include the chips as well.

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