Tired of keeping too many credit cards in your wallet? Google is planning to embed a near field communication technology (NFC) into its Android powered devices which will turn mobiles to e-wallet. This latest technology will help people in making store purchases, redeeming coupons and getting loyalty points. All you need is just to wave your phone in front of a card reader.
This technology will be launched first in NewYork, San Francisco, and potentially other locations, followed by a broader rollout, said a person familiar with the matter. Participating retailers include Macy’s Inc., American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and the Subway fast-food chain, said a person familiar with the matter. Retailers that participate in the program will have upgraded terminals at the point of sale that can read the mobile devices and provide special offers.
A Google spokesman declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal previously reported Google was working on a mobile payments platform with credit card and financial companies such as Citigroup Inc. and MasterCard Inc., as well as retailers and hardware makers such as VeriFone Systems Inc. and ViVOtech Inc., which make credit card readers.
Newer card readers are expected to support NFC as well other than standard credit cards, debit cards etc. Once Google open up the SDK for this technology more android developers can rope in to come up for innovative products. For Google they will be further strengthening there advertising business by gathering analytics on the customers using NFC and thus helping there advertisers to judge the discounts and marketing strategies.
Google has already teamed up with smartphone maker Samsung Electronics Co. to embed NFC technology into phones that use Google’s Android software, while other hardware makers have said they would follow. Google will also partner with wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp. to offer NFC technology to consumers in its network this year, said one person familiar with the matter.
The partnership with Google puts Sprint ahead of its competition. Isis, a joint venture between AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA, to let users make payments and redeem offers via their smartphones will not begin trials until mid-2012.
The Google system will also face competition from players such as Square Inc., which lets businesses accept credit card payments just by attaching a small reader to a smartphone or tablet. Square said it will give those businesses data on consumer-purchase behavior and let them send offers to consumers’ mobile devices, among other things.