"Will That Be Cash, Charge -- or Palm?"

Software from eWallet will let handheld users pay bills, track expenses, and even download discounts

Picture this: Your business colleague is fumbling to get her corporate credit card out to pay for lunch. But you beat her to the check by beaming your payment with infrared technology to the cash register, using your handheld Palm computer. In the time it would take your companion to get the waiter's attention, you've signed the bill electronically, and the amount has been entered into an expense-tracking program in your handheld device, tip included. The next day, you sync your Palm with your desktop PC, and it updates your expense-report records. And hey, look, you qualify for a frequent-diner discount on your next meal.

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