A growing number of large and small payment technology companies are rolling out tools that can turn mobile phones into mobile card acceptance devices.

Some of the biggest issuers and card networks have been testing technology that can let consumers use their phones to make card payments, but the rollout has been stymied by the conflicting needs of banks, wireless carriers and phone makers. However, observers said that the business case for adding acceptance software to phones is much easier to make, and that the applications could enable millions of the nation's smallest businesses to begin taking cards.

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