The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google has begun working with Mastercard and Citigroup to make NFC mobile payments a reality. NFC, or near-field communication, was touted by Eric Schmidt back in December of last year when Google's flagship device, the Nexus S, was announced. The contact-less payment system would allow customers to simply tap or wave their NFC supported mobile device to make payments at stores that support the new technology. Retail giant, Wal-Mart, has also confirmed that they have met with Google to begin preliminary discussions about the new tech.

Additionally, VeriFone Systems is working to bring more contact-less supported readers to merchants. Contact-less payment machines and credit cards have been around for years now, but most consumers aren't aware of it -- and if they are, most have concerns about sending confidential information over the air. "Because it's contact-less there's a perception people can grab it from thin air, but it's actually a more sophisticated technology than credit cards with a magnetic stripe, making it more difficult to steal a consumer's payment information," said Nick Holland, a mobile-transactions analyst at Yankee Group.

Interestingly enough, just last week at CTIA's annual event, none of the phones announced sports NFC. If Google and credit card companies are moving forward with this, who's making the devices? And when? Not everyone has a Nexus S, you know. Or maybe, this whole thing is just too far off from becoming mainstream and OEMs are just waiting? What do you guys and gals think? [The Wall Street Journal]


Reader comments

Google working with Mastercard and Citigroup to make NFC payments a reality


What do I think? I think the future is awesome!

They will add these to phones eventually. But I don't think we will be seeing this kind of stuff in 2011. Probably 2012 though.

I always have my wallet with me so this doesn't really excite me very much. I just hope this isn't taking resources away from other areas like hardware acceleration of apps or bug fixes or whatever.

It's a great idea, but I would doubt that this will eliminate the need for physical credit cards. What happens when your phone battery dies? Are you then stranded with no funds and no phone? Also, it would be difficult to imagine that every mom and pop merchant would be purchasing the necessary readers to facilitate.

This thing is defiantly going to take off because the ultimate goal of the smartphone is to take care of your everyday tasks and everybody needs to buy things. And if we make ID digital then we will have completely eliminated the need for a wallet. That's my 2¢

If I were you people, I would not be so excited to see this "next step" in no-plastic pay technology implemented. You may not be aware but the same banksters that defrauded and bankrupted millions with their predatory and illegal mortgage practices are the same crooks who want to turn us into a 100% cashless society (with blessings from the US govt).

Cool you say? Well, the primary reason for taking us there is to make every single financial transaction you conduct an electronic one, including payment of federal, state, and local taxes. This will also include bank and other financial fees that will be easily deducted from your "master" account without your permission and even in some cases without your direct knowledge.

So no, I'm not excited to see this implemented. It's just the next
step... caveat emptor.

I've seen official announcements that Everything Everywhere with Orange, T-Mobile and Barclaycard were starting to roll out NFC-enabled SIM cards first quarter this year...