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Ring It Up

Giving new meaning to the term "pay phone"

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just say "Charge it!"--with your cell phone. Depending on where you live and work, you might buy a latte at Starbucks or a burger at Mickey D's, fill up your tank, wash your clothes or buy an official NBA T-shirt by tapping a few of those little buttons.

Mobile payment systems are still in trials, but creators hope to grease the skids of m-commerce, give your corporate credit card a run for your money and do away with small bills altogether. Phone payment is for those situations where correct change is a hassle and credit cards are impractical--like buying a client a hot dog at a ball game. Phone transactions also make tracking small T&E expenses easier, notes Patrick Bird, CEO of Cellbucks, which lets fans buy food and sports memorabilia without leaving their seats.

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