Only a day after Apple announced its new iPhone 5 won't have near-field communication, reports say that Google has begun testing the new technology and mobile payments in San Francisco and New York City.
Google will pay for the installation of thousands of VeriFone Systems Inc. cash registers, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which would allow customers to tap or move phones within four inches of the register to pay for purchases.
Google has been working on NFC technology since last August, and started a test market in Portland, Ore., to beta-test and monitor the technology. The search giant has also been including NFC technology on Android phones since January. The new mobile payment would eliminate the need for credit cards, checks or cash. More interestingly, the article continues, "The Google service may combine a consumer’s financial account information, gift-card balances, store loyalty cards and coupon subscriptions on a single NFC chip on a phone."
Obviously Google wants mobile payments to be much more than just a transaction. By incorporating coupons, account information and Google tools like Places and Hotpot, Google will have created a social network based on commerce -- something no one else has done so far. The possibilities and profits for this new form of social media are almost endless.