A group of companies in New Zealand are leading the way with the first trial for a mobile wallet system, due to start in May.
Telecom, Auckland Transport and Westpac will collaborate with technology companies Gemalto, Thales and Paymark to start the initiative, using 30 of their own staff.
Trial shoppers will be able to use their cellphone to make "tap and go" payments for public transport in Auckland and buy items at a small selection of stores.
French technology company Thales will be using its near-field communication (NFC) application throughout Auckland Transport's smart card ticketing system, HOP.
A customer's phone will communicate with the HOP terminal to buy a ticket for a bus, train or ferry without having to swipe or insert a card.
Auckland Transport's chief executive David Warburton said paying for transport by phone is a natural choice.
The trial will also allow a Westpac credit card to top up a Telecom XT Prepaid account using Paymark's technology.
Telecom's CEO Paul Reynolds said the days of using many plastic cards to pay for things are numbered.
"The information gained from this trial will be invaluable for developing a mobile wallet with the kinds of innovative products and services that our customers can expect on the XT network," he said.
"We're absolutely committed to developing the mobile wallet through our investment in building a common trusted services manager for New Zealand."
The companies say the information gathered from this trial will be used to eventually launch a nation-wide mobile wallet system.