Google’s Android NFC – your new e-wallet

Google just teamed up with Mastercard and Citigroup to seriously introduce Near Field Technology (NFC) to the common user. Thought already being widely used in Japan and some other countries; the NFC technology that allows you to buy something just by waving your smartphone in front of the reader is becoming a reality.

This electronic wallet, is meant to be more practical and safer than the current aging magnetic credit card. Consumers don’t have to carry a stack of credit cards now, they can have them all on their phone, and payments are so easy to make, just wave your phone. NFC is also more secure since its encryption formula is much harder to decrypt than the current credit card magnetic stripe.

Google’s take in all this, is to help merchants target customers with current promotions and ads. By better knowing its customers, Google’s hoping to help merchants increase sales via this NFC ad program. Apparently, Google is not going to charge the merchant or consumers any transactions fees.
Current NFC device include Google’s Android flagship device, the Nexus S. Citigroup will allow NFC transactions via mobile payment app available for Android devices. Other apps for tracking expenses and managing credit cards account could also become available in the near future as this new technology becomes more available.

Google is not the only player in this emerging field, VeriFone Systems has already started rolling out NFC readers and is testing out this technology in several stores. Wireless providers Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T Mobile are also working jointly with Discover to introduce NFC to the public.
Apple and Research in Motion are also interested in NFC and are planning new devices to integrate Near Field Communications Chips. As a matter of fact, the new Apple 5 is rumored to have an NFC chip; but nothing is sure yet for the moment.

Related links

Google working on Android mobile wallet