Mobile phones are becoming commodity and more and more services are now accessible directly from the mobile device.
Google is looking to expand the set of capabilities and add mobile payment using Android devices. The company is working with MasterCard Inc. and Citigroup Inc. on a new technology that will allow customers to make purchases by waving their smartphones in front of a small reader at the checkout counter. This assumed to be using NFC (Near Field Communications) which are supported by Android 2.3 (available in new devices such as Nexus S).
Besides mobile payment, consumers would also be able to get targeted ads or discount offers, manage credit-card accounts and track spending through an application on their smartphones.
An insider told that the service is expected to be released later on this year (2011) and that Google was not expected to get a cut of the transaction fees.
According to Analysts, NFC may account for a third of the $1.13 trillion in global mobile-payment transactions projected for 2014. It seems like we will see more and more mobile vendors jumping on the NFC wagon in the near future, so remember the term and I will try to get some more information in write about it here, at the mobile spoon.
What is "NFC" (Near Field Communication)?
NFC is a short range wireless RFID technology that makes use of interacting electromagnetic radio fields instead of the typical direct radio transmissions used by technologies such as Bluetooth. It is meant for applications where a physical touch, or close to it, is required in order to maintain security. NFC is planned for use in mobile phones for, among other things, payment, in conjunction with an electronic wallet, and for setting up connections between Bluetooth devices (rendering the current manual Bluetooth pairing process obsolete). The technology is promoted by the NFC-Forum.