Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Google to unveil NFC-based mobile payments service on May 26

NFC means more than the National Football Conference; it also means Near-Field Communication, which Google has added to some new phones with Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread). On Thursday, Google will roll out a mobile payments system using that technology.

NFC is available on the Samsung Nexus S (unlocked GSM) and Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint), for example.

The Thursday event will introduce the payment system on Sprint handsets (Sprint said last month it was working with a number of OEMs and tech companies on NFC payment systems) in five cities, to start: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg added that Google is using hardware and software from other companies, including VeriFone Systems and ViVOtech to run the still-unnamed mobile payments service.

Gaining adoption of a mobile payments market is difficult because of all the moving parts. Not only does the device have to have NFC capability, but many other parties, including retailers, and payment companies and banks have to cooperate.

While the U.S. lags, mobile payments using NFC are popular in Japan, particularly when related to mass-transit networks.

In addition to the Thursday event, Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will also demo the service at the ninth D: All Things Digital conference, which arrives in a week.

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