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Burgers paid for by mobile phone

Visitors to fast food outlets in Japan will soon be able to pay for their burgers with their mobile phones.

Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo is teaming up with McDonalds to offer electronic payments and special promotions for mobile users.

Using mobile phones to pay for goods is a massive growth area as operators look for new ways to make money.

Japanese mobile owners are leading the way, paying for food and train tickets via their handsets.

For Julie Ask, an analyst with research firm Jupiter, the partnership illustrates the need to have upfront agreements and co-operation for the chain needed for electronic payments to be a success.

"Otherwise it suffers from the chicken and egg problem. POS [Point of Sale] equipment is needed to interoperate with technology in the cell phones. Carriers and handset manufacturers need incentives to add cost into the cell phones. There has to be a network for it to be interesting to anyone," she said.

The deal could also provide invaluable information about customer behaviour, she said.

View: BBC News

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