Square, Inc.

The wallet goes virtual

Those concert ticket stubs stowed away for posterity might soon be a thing of the past.

That's because at the Recher Theater in Towson and other venues, a smart phone — not a paper ticket — will soon be all you need to get through the doors.

The cell phone is evolving from a communication device into a virtual wallet. The rise of smart phones, with larger screens and constant access to the Internet, has spawned more applications that can change consumer behavior. A smart phone now can be a ticket to an event, a credit card reader, a banking tool, a barcode scanner, and a coupon.

The technology is part of mobile commerce's booming growth — with shopping via...