Amazon and Starbucks turn phones into wallets

The end of the wallet is nigh - and you won't need a fancy RFID-enabled phone. Amazon has just announced a service for retailers that will let you use

The end of the wallet is nigh - and you won't need a fancy RFID-enabled phone. Amazon has just announced a service for retailers that will let you use your Amazon account to pay for all kinds of products and services on your mobile phone.

The Amazon Mobile Payments Service will bolt on to existing mobile apps and websites, giving you all the options you get on Amazon's site, including 1-Click purchasing.

The idea is that that you'll be more likely to trust Amazon's payment system than the dodgy online pizza delivery service whose URL you found in the pub.

Starbucks is trying a different approach, moving its pay-as-you-caffeinate Starbucks Cards into an iPhone app. From the new app, Americans can enter their Starbucks Card numbers to register it, check their balance and - in Seattle, Cupertino and Mountain View at first (gee, I wonder how they chose those cities?) - pay for their beverages virtually.