The push is on to get consumers to use mobile phones to pay forpurchases. Last week Starbucks announced a partnership with Square, a mobile-payments company,that will allow customers to pull out their cellphone to pay forcoffee. But an article in Wired suggests such payments fall underthe heading “solutions to nonexistent problems.”

Credit and debit cards already work well. Currently, thebenefits from mobile payments seem to fall more to retailers, whocan get much more detailed data about their customers and shouldfind it easier to target offerings of coupons and other specialdeals. The article notes that mobile payments may flourish inemerging markets, where retail establishments may lack thetechnology to accept credit cards.

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