We’ve been expecting Google to come up with some sort of payment system based around NFC devices for months now. The technology is built right in to the Nexus S, the company’s been advertising for available jobs that seem tailor-fit for overseeing NFC payments, but so far nothing concrete has materialized. Today the Wall Street Journal has revealed that plans are in the works between Google, MasterCard, and Citigroup, suggesting that NFC payments are well on their way to becoming a reality.
The arrangement with both MasterCard and Citigroup would let Google process credit cards as well as debit transactions at POS terminals. With your account info stored on your smartphone, you’d connect to an NFC transceiver at the register to authorize your purchase.
Interestingly, if these reports are correct, Google doesn’t stand to directly benefit from any NFC payments made with Android. That is, it wouldn’t see a cut of any of the transaction fees the retailer is charged when you make a purchase. Instead, in what may concern privacy advocates, Google would do what it does best with personal information and use your transaction data in order to better target advertisements based on your purchasing habits.
While the planned system is reportedly still in its infancy, Google has been meeting with retailers to discuss its plans. There’s no word on when Google expects to finalize its plans, nor publicly announce any new NFC-based systems.