Recent announcements by AmEx and Visa revealed that the credit card giants will soon have their own PayPal competitors available. Mastercard, on the other hand, realizes that going the PayPal route isn’t very 2011.

With Google backing them with near-field communication (NFC) software, Mastercard will soon render your cell phone a Mastercard in of itself. Forget plastic, you’ll be swiping your cell phone to make purchases.

As a result, the technology will also provide retailers with detailed information about the spending habits of users, thus, allowing them to inundate users with ads they might actually care about.

The service will be open to Citigroup cardholders first, who also own handsets such as Google’s Nexus S. Testing is slated to begin in select New York and San Francisco stores sometime within the next four months.—Devin Chanda

[via ReadWriteWeb]