There's speculation that the next iPhone will join Android Nexus S and phones from suppliers such as Nokia in incorporating a chip to support short range wireless communication for mobile payments. It's a technology familiar to commuters in London who mostly pay for their journeys with an Oyster card.
Incorporating the technology into a mobile phone promises added convenience when it is claimed that people are more likely to forget their wallet than their phone.
The convergence of payments and mobile (smartphone) communications is claimed to speed purchases and so cut the waiting time at the checkout. It also holds out the prospect of novel applications, such as the ability to register presence in a café for a loyalty scheme or touch an advertising display to get further information sent by email...
Expect the untaxed "grey (gray)" economy to shrink as cash follows the way of cheque (check) payments and more of our spending goes via our bank account.
Expect anonymity to become more rare as more of our purchasing habits get associated with individual profiles built up by advertisers.
Expect the advertising profiles to be combined more tightly with the phone's ability to track location ... So, for example, we can be lured into one coffee shop chain rather than the others around as we pass by.