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Girl Scouts Turn to Mobile Payments for Cookie Season | Apple Wins Patent for e-Wallet

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio are using GoPayment, a mobile payment app, to process credit card transactions for this year's cookie season. It is the latest example of how mobile payment technology is evolving to address the needs of the smallest - or in this case, youngest - entrepreneurs. GoPayment is developed by Intuit and supports iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. The company is also providing the troop with a free credit card reader and reduced pricing on transaction fees.

Near-field Communications

Mobile payment has been identified by Forrester Research as a technology to watch this year. Certainly demand by both consumers and e-merchants is strong for more offerings in this space, thus explaining the growing rumors of near-field communication technology included in the next generation of mobile devices.

NFC, briefly, is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology that allows the exchange of data between devices over about 3.9 inches in distance. Apple is said to equipping its next-generation devices with near-field communication technology. Among the capabilities, the device would be able to tap into user information Apple has on file, including credit-card numbers, iTunes gift card balances and bank data. Google has also launched a similar initiative, with a number of news reports saying that Google is also building out an NFC payment system.

"The e-Wallet is Coming!

"Perhaps the most tangible sign comes from an e-wallet icon patent that was granted to Apple and reported in Patently Apple recently. Of course Apple could be teasing and change the icon at the last moment, it noted. "That's okay too – because the point here is that Apple's engineers are spelling it out: The e-wallet is coming! … Apple is serious about bringing methods for electronic banking to the iPhone."

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