Gigaom

With the excitement building around near field communication (NFC) mobile payments, it seems like paying by phone is about to turn a corner. But it’s helpful to remember that this is part of a long process that goes back over a decade.

American Express (s axp) has worked up an infographic charting the rise of mobile payments, hitting many of the highlights as consumers increasingly were able to use their phones to buy things. Paying by SMS for things like ringtones started back in the 1990s and even the concept of using a phone as a wallet emerged a decade ago. NFC actually made its debut on phones in 2005 with Nokia, (s nok) though it took several years for contactless payment trials to begin in the U.S.

Now, mobile payments are worth $240 billion worldwide, and 95 percent of people in 30 countries have made purchases through their mobile…

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