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.