Tyfone Inc. has completed beta testing its mobile phone payment system and plans to begin market trials in several regions worldwide.

The Portland, Ore., banking technology vendor said Monday that it had successfully tested with 21 mobile phone payments companies its u4ia Secure Memory Card product, which lets users add contactless transaction capabilities to their phones.

The u4ia device (pronounced "euphoria") features a near-field communication chip that is built into a memory card that uses the Secure Digital standard and can be installed on phones that accept SD cards. Doing so turns the phone into a contactless payment device.

Many banks and payments companies have tested phones with NFC payment capabilities, but few handsets with the chips are commercially available.

"We believe that Tyfone is poised to deliver on the promise of mobile contactless payments several years ahead of the timeline that exists in today's paradigm," Tom Spitzer, Tyfone's chief executive and co-founder, said in a press release. "Our unique approach overcomes two major barriers — the availability of NFC-enabled handsets and the business-case conflicts between the industry stakeholders."

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