Bloomberg reports that Google plans to announce a mobile payment service on May 26.
The Nexus S on Sprint will be the first device to take advantage of Google’s NFC-based technology that allows compatible mobile phones to make payments at physical retail stores. When Google added NFC support to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) earlier this year, the NFC-capable Nexus S seemed the likely guinea pig for the long-rumored service.
New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. will be among the first cities to receive Google NFC love. They have already been testing a Google Places-related NFC pilot program in Portland, Oregon, but it does not yet include payments.
With the rise of social buying sites like Groupon and Living Social, analysts predict U.S. spending on pre-purchased “coupons” will explode from $370M in 2010 to $6.7B in 2014.
Google plans to use both hardware and software from point-of-sale companies that include VeriFone Systems and ViVOtech, but expect it to be rolled into future Android updates.
It will be interesting to see how Google’s NFC system is structured, as wireless consortium ISIS recently failed in their attempt to bypass the credit card companies and accept direct payments. Apple is also rumored to be preparing its own NFC service, but is predictably tight-lipped about it.
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