AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless are planning a partnership to displace credit and debit cards by letting consumers pay with the contactless wave of a smartphone, Bloomberg News reported, citing three people with direct knowledge of the plan.

The new venture may pose a competitive threat to payment networks such as Visa Inc and MasterCard Inc, the report said.

The partnership, which also includes T-Mobile USA, may work with Discover Financial Services and Barclays Plc to test a system at stores in Atlanta and three other U.S. cities, the people told the agency.

AT&T and Verizon Wireless declined comment to Bloomberg. They could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

The carriers have been searching for a chief executive officer, according to Bloomberg News.

The planned service is similar to those already available in Japan, Turkey and the U.K., and would use contactless technology to pay for purchases in stores, the report said.

(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga)