NFC-based Google mobile payment services coming this year?
NFC will not be just another Android feature, because Google has big plans related to it.
According to BusinessWeek and “two people familiar with Google’s plans”, the company may launch an NFC-based payment system as soon as this year. The idea’s quite simple: customers will be able to pay for goods or services just by waving their Android handset “against a register at checkout.”
Back in November, major US carriers (Verizon, A&T and T-Mobile) have established a joint venture called Isis, with the goal of providing NFC-based payment services via smartphones starting 2012. Now that Android supports NFC, Google will be – even if not directly – part of the carrier’s initiative, too.
Also in November, Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked about NFC integration into smartphones, saying:
“You’ll be able to walk in a store and do commerce. You’d bump for everything and eventually replace credit cards.”
For the moment, however, there’s only one Android handset that has NFC capabilities, and that’s the Google Nexus S. Of course, this will change pretty soon.