Visa Introduces a Credit Card on a Phone (Apr. 12, 2009) —Visa is introducing a cellphone payment system that is more than sticker-thin.

visaNow you can make your cellphone work like a credit card by applying a sticker to the back. The sticker, equipped with radio frequency identification (R.F.I.D.), tag lets you wave the phone over a terminal to make a purchase.

The service is currently available only in Malaysia, but soon it will be expanded to other countries. The Visa service uses a chip on the phone to communicate with a payment terminal. But the latest version is based on a global standard for phones and telephones called near field communications.

The terminals you now see at fast food shops and drug stores that take the R.F.I.D. cards can also read account numbers on the new sort of phones.

The chip on the phone adds a few features that may make buying things a bit more secure and a bit more convenient than using the existing R.F.I.D. tags or the phone stickers.

If you want, you can lock the payment capability of your phone with a password, so a phone thief can’t also go on a spending spree. Moreover, even if you don’t lock the card number on the phone, you can call your bank, which can disable it remotely.

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