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Palm to beam Visa charges

by Matt Berger

If you own a Palm, buying via credit card is about to get easier.

This newest application of the Palm introduced Saturday at the Consumer Electronics Show, will allow users to make a Visa credit card purchase by beaming account information from a Palm handheld to a credit card terminal.

The process, which enables a secure point-of-sale transaction to occur just as if a credit or debit card had been swiped by hand, can be made at any retailer that attaches a small, infrared device onto its credit card terminal.

While the concept has been discussed by several companies in the past with little success, Palm has recruited the help of financial giant Visa International, a frontrunner in the development of secure digital credit card transactions, to help convince retailers to join the initiative.

“I think it’s realistic. It’s just a question of merchandising it,” said Palm CEO Carl Yankowski, who unveiled the Palm electronic transaction during his keynote speech at CES. “It will start with a lunatic fringe, like most technology inventions, and I think it will take off from there.”

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