Google Wants Your Wallet… To Be Swallowed By Your Android Phone


The Google Nexus S includes a technology called NFC that will technically allow retailers to accept your mobile phone as a form of payment. While that technology exists in the Nexus S now, insiders say Google is making a push to create mass adoption of the technology- something made easier by the 300,000 Android Phones activated daily.

Check out what Businessweek has said on the matter:

Last year, Google bought Zetawire, a Canadian startup with a patent on a way to combine a phone-based wallet with a reward-and-loyalty system. Google Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm, also invested in Corduro, a closely held developer of mobile-payment solutions in Southlake, Tex.

Google is ramping up efforts to seed merchants nationwide with NFC tags, which can be read by NFC-enabled phones. Since mid-December, it has handed out hundreds of NFC kits—including window tags and fortune cookies to give to customers—to businesses in Portland, Ore., where Google is testing a project called Hotpot.

Facebook made a bunch of very important development announcements this year including “Places” and “Coupons”, while Apple recently hired Benjamin Vigier, an NFC expert. These three juggernauts fighting for first mover advantage should prove to move the NFC picture forward in a big way, predicts iSuppli:

“Global shipments of NFC phones will jump to 220.1 million units in 2014, up from 52.6 million in 2010”

Way back in 2008, listen to what Google Engineer Matt Cutts predicted about mobile convergence:

“More people will realize the inevitable truth that Bill Gates saw years ago and that Apple has chased since the introduction of the ROKR: of all the devices in your pocket, the only one you’re not willing to give up is your phone. Therefore, all personal gadgets will eventually be subsumed by your phone. Camera? Already part of your phone. Pen and notebook? Quite close. Video camera? Almost there, give it a couple more years. Car keys, wallet? It will come.”

It’s now 2011 and you see fewer and fewer standalone cameras roaming the world as people now rely on their phones. I can only agree that your wallet and keys are probably next to get swallowed, and Google hopes to aid that transition.

We’re definitely a ways away from seeing this happen. First phones need to be manufactured with the technology and secondly, retailers need to embrace it. But once the momentum starts it won’t slow down. Kind of like seeing self-check-out at grocery stores… only this is better.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

Amazon Bringing a Kindle App Specifically for Android Tablets this Year

Previous article

EA Bringing Popular Strategy Game Worms to Android

Next article

You may also like


  1. Im in Portland and interested in giving this a shot.

  2. I would love that. I hate my pockets being cluttered with all kinds of junk.

  3. can’t wait!!!

  4. The Japanese have been able to purchase vending machine items using their cell phones for years now. And they put everything in vending machines from clothes to sushi.
    We’ll catch up someday, maybe.

  5. @Snaggletooth
    And, of course, Beer and smokes…. I miss Japan sometimes

  6. to those people eager to have all their financial info available over NFC, i am officially inviting you over once cloning apps are made.

    i think NFC is cool for a few things. wireless docking, coupons would be ok, exchanging contact info.. great. my financials… not a chance. the possibility of credit card cloning is bad enough, but at least for that they would need to physically get ahold of my card. with this, all they would need to do is brush up against me on a crowded street.

  7. A lot of cards in the UK have contact-less pay on them but there are very few terminals to use them, only seem to have chip and pin…..cant wait till its all rolled out.

  8. when are Android phones going to start incorperating pocket knives into their hardware? =P

    In all seriousness, the first thing I do when I sit down at work or when I get home is unload all the shit in my pockets. I am all for less shit in my pockets.

  9. AlexNC – Maybe you need to wear Depends?

    Seriously though, I will never ever use such a system. I’m actually considering moving to as much of a cash system as I can.

  10. hey, they already have (car)keys as part of a phone integration. Clifford / Viper’s Smart Start app… it’s fantastic. I’m all for less crap in my pockets, but until they make a GOOD camera with an OPTICAL zoom, i’ll keep my Canon close by. :)

  11. “Like the self check out line at the store” Like the twice as slow as a human checker,doesn’t work 80% of the time, WTF is someone to override this POS kind of self service experience? ?????
    I sure hope not”

  12. Elmer Wabbit – Ha ha ha! I noticed that they removed those from one of our local stores that put them in not too long ago. I’m guessing it didn’t work out so well.

  13. Snaggletooth/// Where would you try these cloths on. And how do you return the cloths you just purchased from a vending machine.. Move to Japan if you want to live in the future…..

  14. @Elmer Wabbit, either you’re going to the wrong stores or don’t know know how to use self checkout. Not working 80% of the time equals operator malfunction. Most folks ’round here get through in under 5 minutes. But the cloning argument has merit. I’ve seen too much card fraud to jump on this.

  15. Self Checkout = Slow Cashiers and Idiot Baggers

  16. @john the lesser – You better check your credit cards for rfid. If you have it, then a person does not need to take your wallet to steal your information.

    I’m assuming with NFC you can at least turn off the hardware on your phone so nothing is transmitted until you tell it to. Then it will be your own fault if you don’t turn it off.

    For all you people afraid of change, what is wrong with you. Do you enjoy flushing your toilet at home? There were people afraid of that at one time, and now we can’t live with out it. Change is a good thing. Embrace it.

  17. Flushing a toilet and having your information on a phone are different things…

  18. Phantom, not if you drop your phone in the toilet. :p

  19. it’s not putting all your financial info on the phone, just enabling it to be used as a debit card more or less. and i assume it can be turned off, and enabling it will probably be protected by a pin or similar as well. plus, the identifier used is updatable, and could even be similar to one time passwords. could even add in a feedback loop where you get a notice on your phone through the interwebs telling you where the purchase is happening and for how much, and you get to “approve” or “deny” the charge.

    the more i think about it the more i like the idea, seems safer than carrying cash (100% loss when wallet is stolen) or credit/debit cards (probably no loss, but huge headache when lost or stolen). if i could start my car, open my house door, and pay for stuff all from my phone i would be all over it. i would probably start locking my screen at that point though :D

  20. another really cool tie-in if there was an “approve” loopback, applications such as could show your budget and how this purchase impacts it before you approve the purchase.

  21. Jon lol true that

  22. I love this idea. On the theft not I believe I heard\read somewhere that you activate the hardware on your phone each time, it’s not always on. Also that each purchase your phone creates a uniquely generated code each time, so it’s hard to crack and generates a new one like every 45 sec or something.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News