Bluetooth is emerging as a contender in mobile payments as near-field communication continues to struggle. PayPal and Apple are early entrants in the field, which is expected to grow rapidly. "When you have two big guys like PayPal and Apple backing Bluetooth, that's a big plus for that technology as opposed to something like NFC, which has yet to really take off," said Patrick Connolly, London-based senior analyst at ABI Research.

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