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Congress grapples with evolution from paper to mobile money

Ian Duncan

Monday, July 9, 2012 - 09:15

As technology enables smartphones to function like cash, lawmakers seek answers to questions about competing systems for mobile payments and their security and privacy.

WASHINGTON — When Abraham Lincoln allowed the Treasury to print money for the first time in the depths of the Civil War, it was a major innovation born of a pressing reality.

The Union was broke.

Now, 150 years later, in admittedly less dire circumstances, Congress is preparing itself for the next big thing when it comes to money — a future in which payments are made with a wand-like wave of a phone rather than the exchange of wrinkled pieces of paper.

"We are, I think, on a precipice of some fundamental change in the way money is exchanged between consumers and businesses," Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said as she opened the first of a string of hearings in March.

Federally backed paper money allowed the Union to keep fighting the war after the government had burned through its coin reserves and a massive loan from banks, and had been reduced to writing IOUs to pay soldiers.

Read the full story by clicking the link below,0,6312269.story
Tags: NFC, Americas, Mobile Wallet, AT&T, Verizon, Mobile Money, PayPal, Apple, Google, Security

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