A company called Movaluate is distributing reprogrammable Near Field Communication chips, a move that could help erase some of the business and technological hurdles payments companies face. It might also open NFC to a new group of developers.

NFC chips allow smartphones and other devices to make payments at the point of sale. So far, wallets that rely on NFC chips have faced difficulty in getting their systems to work on all NFC-capable phones. For example, Google's Motorola Mobility unit makes several NFC-equipped phones, but these phones run on the network of Verizon Wireless, a company behind the Isis wallet. The phones do not support Google's mobile wallet.

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