Google Acquires Zetawire in Ongoing NFC Effort

2010 began with a broad range of acquisitions in the mobile space. It now appears the year will end on the same note.

On Tuesday, it became known that Google has acquired stealth mobile payments solutions developer Zetawire.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

As reported by the 451 Group, very little is known about Toronto-based Zetawire, but suspicions suggest that the company “was in the pre-revenue stage, making its only valuable asset a patent and corresponding trademark awarded by the US Patent and Trademark office.”

What Google gains most from the acquisition is, indeed, patent access, one described by All Things Digital as a patent that “encompasses technologies around mobile banking, advertising, identity management, and credit card and mobile coupon transaction processing. The company also occasionally goes by the name Walleto.”

For Google, the acquisition speaks to the company’s overall plan to make greater inroads in the Near Field Communications technology segment. Put differently, Google has taken yet another leap forward to the eventuality of your smartphone also serving as your wallet.

Google’s Android 2.3 mobile operating system update, for example, brings NFC functionality to the forefront by allowing handset users to engage in retail transactions directly from their mobile device.

Based on the reach of Google’s acquisition appetite this year and the company’s penchant for mobile payment systems, 2011 is poised to be a year for rampant growth at Google in terms of the deployment of NFC in smartphone research, development, and product launches.