Google could champion cell phone technology that could make traditional credit cards obsolete, according to news reports. During a presentation at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt displayed an unreleased wireless phone running the technology company's Android operating system. Schmidt revealed that the new phone model contains a near-field communications chip compliant with new payment processing security standards. Bloggers speculated that Schmidt demoed the Samsung Nexus S, considered the successor to Google's original flagship wireless device, the Nexus One.

Although Schmidt told attendees that a shift away from credit cards would take some time, including the technology in new handsets would enable developers and merchants to explore new payment technology tools. Proponents of near-field communications tools believe that the technology can be used to eliminate the need for physical credit cards by transmitting account information on demand. Because subscribers can remotely erase information from lost or stolen phones, the chips can reduce the likelihood of identity theft.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.