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One billion credit cards in American wallets are landfill-bound. "We have reviewed more than 100 companies that are developing payment schemes that would eliminate cards altogether," says phone and card industry consultant Richard Crone, of Crone Consulting in San Carlos, Calif. Indeed, credit-card companies such as Visa and Mastercard might lose out on swipe fees if merchants are able to capitalize on direct payments from bank accounts, referred to as "decoupled debit." Cards and phone companies want so-called near field communication, a chip integrated into cards and phones that provides for contactless swipes. Paired with biometrics, such as fingerprint identification, other bygones could include a PIN number and your John Hancock.