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Nokia, the world's leading manufacturer of mobile phone handsets, believes the phone will ultimately replace cards as the common means of payment. That would be a good thing for Nokia, and the handset maker has conducted tests in several countries where consumers pay by phone. The company has learned some lessons from those tests.
"Our assumption was that it had to be as easy as what people currently do, when in fact it has to be easier," says Tom Zalewski, a U.S.-based business development manager for mobile commerce at Nokia. "For someone to change their habits and use a different device or form factor there has to be some advantage or compelling reason."
One selling point for the mobile phone: it's easy to get to. "You always have your phone handy, because when the phone rings you want to be able to get to it," Zalewski says.
At the same time, consumers are so used to paying with cards or cash that they can …