Business Week today reported that Google was considering building a payment and advertising service that would let you use your cell phones just as a credit card. Consumers will be able to pay for everyday goods and groceries by simply tapping or waving their mobile phones against a register at checkout.
Infact the service might be launched this year itself. The whole technology is based on the near-field communications (NFC) which can beam and receive information wirelessly from about 4 inches away. Google is not the first to be wanting to work on this technology and introduce it as a product. Many companies are working on tapping into this $1.13 trillion global mobile-payment market. Last November, Verizon, At&T and T-Mobile USA formed a venture called Isis to offer NFC based services in 2012.
Visa has already taken a note of this and is launching mobile payments in mid-2011. Google will also be competing against online payment giant Paypal which is launching its commercial NFC service in the second half of 2011. The Paypal NFC system would also have a peer-to-peer option where a restaurant bill can be split or shared between two people.
NFC is powerful. A single NFC chip on a smartphone can hold a consumer’s financial account information, gift cards, store loyalty cards, and coupon subscriptions. Google’s NFC service will also allow users to buy stuff online, for instance, by scanning a movie poster, users can read reviews and use Google service to buy tickets.
All in all, this looks like an exciting service and Google is rumored to launch this this year. It will be interesting to see the decline of Visa and MasterCard monopoly on the credit card market.
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