Apple, Amazon, eBay and Facebook are all believed to be working on ways to let people use their smartphones to pay for items or services. Google has been the first to introduce such a system, in the form of "Google Wallet."
A test version of the system is going live in coming months in New York and San Francisco.
By comparison, Square CardCase has 50 vendors located in a nice geographic scatter of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, St Louis, and Washing DC and founder Jack Doresy says it will be available to vendors who want to sign up.
Google Wallet works with Android-powered phones like Google's Nexus S equipped with near-field-communication (NFC) chips, serviced by US telecom Sprint and only with those merchants that have partnered with Google for the launch, which includes major chains as Macy's, Subway sandwiches, and American Eagle Outfitters clothing shops.
In January, Google hired Osama Bedier (left) who had been working at eBay asVP of platform, mobile and new ventures and PayPal lead negotiator and had also recruited eBay's executive Stephanie Tilenius (right) as its VP of Commerce in February 2010, a month before she finished a consulting contract with eBay following her departure from full-time work with the auction firm.