We reported a couple of weeks ago about Google’s plans for rolling out its NFC payment system by purchasing thousands of special NFC payment terminals from VeriFone Systems. Today, reports suggest that Google will partner with MasterCard and Citigroup to allow its consumers to use their phones to make payments.
The Wall Street Journal is quoting people familiar with the project who state that the project would allow holders of Citigroup debit or credit cards to pay for purchases with their phone. It would mean activating a mobile-payment app which has been developed for “one current model (Nexus S) and many coming models of Android phones.” The benefit for Google will not come in the form of a cut of the transaction fee but will instead will see the system be used to boost its advertising business.
In what sounds like a scary invasion of privacy, sources quoted by the WSJ say the system will allow Google to give retailers more information about their customers and so allow them to send targeted ads to their customers. If true, this will surely raise some serious issues regarding the protection of people’s information and could lead to a back lash against the system.
While 2011 was flagged as the year when NFC would become mainstream, we have yet to see our mobile phones turned into credit cards. However it seems as if Google is pushing forward with its development of NFC technology and should it succeed, we will no doubt see all others jump on board.
Source: Wall Street Journal