Forgot your wallet, but need to pay for something? By this summer, that might not be a problem for some Americans shopping with their Google Android-powered smart phones.
Google is reported to be readying tests in several U.S. cities of a mobile-payment system that uses so-called near-field communications (NFC), a high-frequency wireless technology that allows nearby objects to share data.
The tests, reported to begin in New York, San Francisco and other U.S. cities in four months, will allow consumers to pay for items by simply waving their NFC-capable smart phones (such as the Samsung Nexus S) running Android version 2.3 (or "Gingerbread") at in-store NFC sales terminals from VeriFone Systems.
Google and other companies said to be involved with the news declined to comment on the trials or provide further details—such as security—of the setup. However, many note that such wireless, contactless payment systems have been used by Japanese consumers for years. And banks and credit card companies in the U.S. have similar retail wave-and-pay systems, which use radio frequency ID (RFID) schemes. (NFC, a subset of RFID, differs in that wireless data communication can occur only at distances of four inches or less.)
Have you ever used a wireless payment system? And if the Google trials came to your town, would you be willing to try it? Or has concerns over potential security risks kept you from wave-to-pay?
Google Is Said to Test Mobile-Payment System With VeriFone [Bloomberg]
Google, VeriFone in Talks on Mobile-Payment Partnership [Wall St. Journal]
Google deploying NFC payment systems this summer [Fortune via CNN Money]
Rumor: Google Expanding Near Field Communications Payment System for Android as Apple Delays [PC World]
Difference Between RFID and NFC [DifferencesBetween.net]