Technology that allows consumers to use their mobile phones to pay for goods in retail outlets will go on trial in Denmark in April.
Retailers all over Europe will be watching the trial closely to see whether the promise of m-commerce can be translated into real advantages for business.
Last week, Adam Daum, an analyst at GartnerG2, said linking mobile payment technology to electronic point of sale systems could be "massively successful".
The system being trialled in Denmark uses a newly developed payment terminal which links to a store's existing network.
Customers pay by pointing an infrared beam generated by their mobile phones at the payment terminal and entering their digital signature.
When the payment has been accepted customers receive an electronic "receipt" on their mobile phone. If they have more than one account they can choose which one to make the payment from without having to change their password.
The transaction can be simultaneously cleared by both the customer's bank and the retailer's bank.
Records of all electronic receipts are collected and stored on a database that customers can access via the Internet.
The "mobile wallet" system will be launched by three companies - Beamtrust, a mobile payment specialist, AU-System, an IT consultancy, and Cryptomathic, an IT security provider.
Poul Erik, a spokesperson for Beamtrust, said, "I believe this solution will be a significant enabler for m-commerce."
Meanwhile, mobile phone operator Vodafone has announced a partnership with secure payment provider WorldPay to trial "m-wallet" payments in the UK.
WorldPay is providing the payment processing element for the m-wallet service, which enables users to purchase goods using their mobile devices.
WorldPay said it is "actively recruiting" merchants for the UK trial, which will precede a full commercial launch later this year.
This was first published in February 2002