By Ed Oswald | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm
Mobile payments using so-called Near-Field Communication have been a hot topic these days, whether it be the rumored addition of the technology to the iPhone 5 (or maybe not), or banks such as Bank of America looking to cash in on the trend.
Enter Google, which according to Bloomberg is planning to test the technology within four months in New York and San Francisco.
The search giant would pay for the installation of NFC-equipped cash registers produced by Verifone. To pay, the consumer would simply tap their mobile device on a unit equipped to read the chip built into the phone. It’s not entirely clear how the payments would be handled, but Bloomberg says a consumer’s banking account could be combined with loyalty and gift cards from the retailers and even coupons.
In any case, whether or not NFC actually catches on will be directly affected by whether or not the phone manufacturers themselves include the technology on the phone. AT&T and Verizon last year teamed up with Discover on its own system, which is expected to begin testing shortly.
BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has also said that it plans to build NFC support into its devices, and the Nexus S is one of the first phones widely available in the US with the technology. That said, a good majority of manufacturers have stayed mostly silent on their plans.
If NFC is to succeed, then this is most definitely going to have to change.