According to a report from Bloomberg, this Thursday Google will introduce a mobile payment system that will allow users of NFC enabled handsets to use their phone to make a payment at the cash register in lieu of cash or a credit card, or to redeem coupons. The latter is expected to grow from a $370 million business last year to a $6.53 billion business in 2014 according to Borrell Associates Inc. At first, the service will be available only on the Nexus S 4G available from Sprint, but will be made available for other NFC enabled handsets down the road. The Mountain View based company has already sent out invitations to a media event for this Thursday.
It is expected that Google will launch the service in five cities, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C. Back in March, we reported that Google would be testing out an NFC mobile payment system in both New York and San Francisco, using the Google branded Nexus S.
According to Bloomberg, Google will be using hardware and software from VeriFone and ViVOtech for the project which faces competition from Apple, which is planning on bringing to market an NFC service of its own, and ISIS. The latter is a joint venture owned by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile and is expected to launch in 2012 in two cities including Salt Lake City.
The technology behind Google’s offering, Near Field Communications, is a short-range wireless communications system that uses the 13.56MHz band and works at a range of 4cm or less. It is expected that the next build of the Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich will be chock full of NFC functionality.
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