Google plans mobile phone credit card
Reports suggest that Google is using NFC chips to trial a payment system in America
Google is set to join forces with MasterCard and Citigroup to let users of its Android mobile phones pay for purchases using ‘near-field communications’ (NFC) technology, reports say.
The move confirms suggestions made by Google when the NFC-enabled Nexus S handset launched, and would give the search giant a response to Orange’s UK plans to use Barclaycard’s technology for mobile phone ‘contactless’ payment.
Apple is also rumoured to be considering using ‘NFC’ chips in its future iPhone products.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that “The planned payment system would allow Google to offer retailers more data about their customers and help them target ads and discount offers to mobile-device users near their stores. Google isn't expected to get a cut of the transaction fees.”
That approach would differ from rumours about how Apple could implement its system, but no clear details have yet emerged of any manufacturer’s plan.
Apps, however, could be used to enable holders of credit cards to turn their phones into mobile wallets.
A number of companies, such as discount site Groupon as well as Google, are known to be working on ways of making mobile phones received highly targeted offers or adverts.
Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has repeatedly said that Google wants to take advantage of how much mobile phones know about their owners.
Location data, combined with time and shopping history could be used to tailor ads, for instance. Mr Schmidt has also spoken enthusiastically about the potential for phones to be used to make payments.
In the UK, millions of contactless payment cards are already in circulation. Card companies, however, have declined to say how many users actually take advantage of the technology, rather than using their cards in the conventional ‘chip and pin’ way.