Google will join forces with Citibank and Mastercard so that users can wave a smartphone at the cashier counter and make purchases.
Holders of Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards will be able to pay for purchases by activating a mobile-payment application for Android phones, or a kind of electronic wallet, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google will also sell targeted ads to local merchants and users will get discounts.
The new near-field technology will use VeriFone Systems Inc., which makes credit-card readers for cash registers, that have designed readers that only need customers to wave or tap their credit or debit cards. Users can also similarly tap or wave their smartphones.
Two weeks ago, reports said that Google began testing the pay-and-wave feature in San Francisco and New York City. Google reportedly paid 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 year 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.
With so many rumors, it's beginning to sound as if NFC technology may be a reality. If so, it may mean a revolution in e-commerce and Android will be the handheld gaining marketshare, not Apple.