Wireless Moves the Cash Register Where You Are

From the New York Times:

When Michelle Dubé, a golf instructor in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., finishes a lesson, she whips out her BlackBerry wireless device – to schedule the next appointment, sure, but also to swipe the student’s credit card for payment right there on the driving range.

It takes only a few seconds, and it saves Ms. Dubé a trip to the bank to deposit a check or a fistful of cash. Plus, her clients like it. “They’re just surprised – they’re like, ‘Wow, you’re a techno-wizard,’ ” she said.

The novelty may soon wear off. Plumbers, limousine drivers, flea market proprietors and merchants of all sizes and stripes are beginning to take credit and debit cards in odd places, often using nothing more than an ordinary cellphone and a card swipe attachment, or a handheld device with a built-in swipe slot. Now that wireless networks span the nation and devices that tap into them are cheap and reliable, expectations for the technology are running high outside these niches.

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