Google Will Roll Out NFC For Android Phones
According to the WallStreet Journal, Google is teaming up with MasterCard and Citigroup to bring Near-Field Communications technology to Android mobile devices. This would allow consumers to pay for things by swiping their phone against a small reader at a checkout stand. The goal in using NFC technology is to speed up transaction times and make it easier for consumers to pay for things without whipping out their wallet or their purse to look for their credit cards. Google will not be getting any “cut” of the transaction fees. In addition to making shopping easier, NFC will allow phone users to get targeted ads or discounted offers, and this is how Google will be making its money. The current vendor to supply the NFC readers will be VeriFone Systems Inc.
Google expects to get their NFC system rolling later this year, with Verizon and AT&T on board with the new technology. Tony Bradley of PCWorld offers some interesting insights to this new tech initiative. He notes that if Google wants to be successful with this new measure, they need to get as many bank backings as possible to ensure that everyone can use it, rather than a select few. He also explains the importance of getting the approval of as many retailers as possible, not just a couple corner stores near the Software giant’s HQ.
Bradley’s biggest concern is, what will be done if your Android phone gets stolen? How will you be able to cancel your cell-I mean, credit card, without a cell phone? This is a big question Google will have to answer if it wants consumers to jump on the NFC bandwagon. I share Bradley’s concern of future cell phone thefts. Sure, a $500 phone is pretty tempting, but combine that with a credit card sporting a $5,000 limit, and you’re a walking target. I’ll be interested to see how Google will address these concerns. Check out the video below to see a demo of NFC technology.