An anonymous source has revealed that Google is working on a new mobile payment service, according to businessweek.com.
Google’s new project, which may make its debut as early as this year, will leverage NFC technology to enable customers to conduct contactless transactions by passing their cell phone over a reader at the point of sale, said the source.
So far Google has taken numerous steps to set up its new NFC service. On Dec. 6, the company released its new NFC-enabled Android OS “Gingerbread,” which will be be featured on Samsung’s Nexus S phone. According to the source, the Nexus S will serve as a test for Google’s new NFC service.
Google also bought Canadian startup Zetawire last year, who is patenting a mobile wallet service featuring a reward-and-loyalty system. Furthermore, Google has invested in Texas-based mobile payment solutions provider Corduro, and is reportedly handing out hundreds of NFC tag kits to merchants in Portland, Oregon, where it is testing a project called “Hotpot,” says businessweek.com.
Under “HotPot,” businesses can put a personalized NFC tag on their storefront window that users can scan with NFC phones to receive information on the store’s work hours, customer ratings, and info on other related businesses. According to Lior Ron, group product manager for Hotpot, Google hopes to eventually take the service national.
Additionally, EBay’s (EBAY) PayPal is looking to launch a peer-to-peer NFC mobile payment service later this year that will allow users to trade cash by simply tapping their phones together, according to Laura Chambers, senior director of PayPal Mobile. Chambers also commented that PayPal would be open to a partnership with Google on this venture.
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