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A recent cellphone industry conference became the latest focal point for the discussion and unveiling of new credit card payment systems that work with mobile devices in a number of ways.

Mobile credit card payment processing systems and digital wallets are the latest focus for many companies that are trying to link card use with smartphones and other portable devices, and are expected to drastically change the way in which consumers conduct day-to-day transactions in the next few years, according to a report from the trade group news site the National Association of Convenience Stores Online. It's believed that once these systems are adopted, consumers will slowly begin to rely less on using cash to make their purchases.

Mobile credit card readers seem to be the current big deal in this industry, as companies like Square and VeriFone Systems push small devices that plug directly into smartphones and other mobile devices, and can be used to make the processing of transactions easier for businesses large and small, the report said. These are growing quite popular, particularly among small businesses, for which payment processing can often be quite costly.

But in the near future, mobile wallets - with tap-to-pay systems enabled by near-field communications technology - are expected to become the next big thing in payment technology, the report said. Google launched its simply-named Wallet program in September of last year, and both Visa and MasterCard announced their own versions of these systems at the industry conference, though neither seems to be in the offing any time soon. Further, the three largest cellphone service providers are creating their own system as well, called Isis. Experts believe all this competition among companies in a range of industries will eventually be good for consumers.

"The idea behind this is: How do we get more wallets and more innovation?" Ed Olebe, MasterCard's senior vice president of e-commerce development, told the site.

The mobile payment industry is still growing, but doing so at a rather rapid pace. Within the next few years, many analysts project that it could be worth as much as tens of billions annually, and the only things that might cause delays in widespread adoption are the current lack of availability for the necessary technology, and consumer fears that these systems are less secure than traditional credit card purchases.