Google plans to join forces with MasterCard and Citigroup to allow users of its Android mobile phones to pay for purchases using ‘near-field communications (NFC) technology, a reports has stated.
This gives the search engine giant a response to Orange’s UK plans to use Barclaycard’s technology for mobile phone ‘contactless’ payment. Apple is also rumoured to be considering using ‘NFC’ chips in its future iPhone products.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that “The planned payment system would allow Google to offer retailers more data about their customers and help them target ads and discount offers to mobile-device users near their stores. Google isn’t expected to get a cut of the transaction fees.”
No clear details have been divulged of any manufacturer’s plan, Apps however, could be used to enable holders of credit cards to turn their phones into mobile wallets.
Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has repeatedly said that Google wants to take advantage of how much mobile phones know about their owners. Location data, combined with time and shopping history could be used to tailor ads, for instance. Mr Schmidt has also spoken enthusiastically about the potential for phones to be used to make payments.
In the UK, millions of contactless payment cards are already in circulation. Card companies, however, have declined to say how many users actually take advantage of the technology, rather than using their cards in the conventional ‘chip and pin’ way.