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End Of Plastic? Banks Unveil Payment Service Using Cell Phone, Email

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A new service launched by three of the biggest banks in the U.S. allows customers to transfer funds from their account with their cell phones, a move that could eventually spell doom for the debit or credit card.

KNX 1070's Jon Baird reports Bank of America is among the participants in the ClearXChange program.


The service, which allows you to move your money from a checking account with just an email address or cell phone number, is being billed as a direct competitor to PayPal or prepaid debit cards.

Banks are hoping the effort will boost their business after losing fee-weary customers to alternative spending methods.

Larry Harris of USC's Marshall School of Business thinks this is another exciting innovation for consumers that could ultimately replace debit and credit cards -- assuming users take the necessary security precautions.

"They can't share their passwords with other people, they have to maintain control over their cell phone," said Harris. "The cell phone itself should probably be locked with a password.

And while the risk of overspending is also linked to the ease of access, Harris says shoppers already have to overcome that temptation when they use their credit cards.

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