With a slowdown in consumer spending rocking the economy, retailers and card companies have been eagerly awaiting user-friendly technology that would enable wireless phones to handle contactless transactions, in hopes of spurring sales. That time may be now.

At the National Retail Federation conference in New York this week, Mocapay Inc. of Boulder, Colo., introduced a working mobile payment system that allows consumers to use their phones to manage the balances on closed-loop prepaid cards and to make payments at the point of sale.

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