US mobile operator AT&T Wireless has announced a series of deals with mobile payments companies Boku, Zong and BilltoMobile. The goal: to let its subscribers buy digital music, movies and other digital goods on their phone bills, rather than using credit cards, PayPal or other online payment systems. Note: we’re not talking mobile music here – the theory is that when buying music at an online store, people will have the option to type in their phone number (presumably with a PIN or password too) and have their purchase charged to their phone bill. “We’re taking huge steps toward making mobile payments a ubiquitous checkout option online, right next to credit cards,” says Boku’s SVP Ron Hirson – the company recently signed a similar deal with Vodafone in the UK.

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