Google Doubling Down on NFC While Apple Passes


nfc_smallADOTAS – According to Bloomberg, Google will be test-driving a mobile payment service using near-field communication (NFC) technology at retail locations in New York and San Francisco in the coming four months.

Though the companies remained tight-lipped, Sources told the business newswire that Google will thousands of VeriFone Systems’ cash-register components at retail locations across these cities to  enable payments via mobile phones endowed with NFC — users will be able to pay at retail stores with a wave of their phones.

Launched in December, Google’s Nexus S smartphone is loaded with NFC hardware and Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android mobile OS that boasts an open-source NFC software stack. Bloomberg reports that Google will be able to source multiple payment and discount resources — including bank accounts, credit cards, discount and loyalty programs and/or gift certificates — from a single mobile device.

This new program would put Google in direct competition with eBay’s PayPal and ISIS — a partnership between AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon using Discover Financial Systems — which are also building NFC-based mobile payment systems for retailers.

However, it looks like Android mobile users will be the only ones able to use these (well, maybe BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7 users too, depending on development), as wireless carriers in the United Kingdom have learned the next generation of iPhone (either the 4GS or the iPhone 5) to be introduced this year will not support NFC. Apple pooh-poohed the tech over the lack of industry standards for NFC — which probably means Apple will appoint/create its own standard.


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