Google CEO Says NFC, Mobile Payments Will Prove Profitable

Speaking in Barcelona, Spain at the Mobile World Congress, Google’s chief executive officer Eric Schmidt took the opportunity to expound on the future of mobile payments and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, both of which, Schmidt says, are bracing to take the mobile world as we know it by storm.

According to Google’s chief, wireless transactions are potentially so bankable that a fleet of new Android smartphones will be outfitted with near-field communication technology, a reality that, according to the New York Times, “could turn into a serious business for the company.”

Following his presentation at the Mobile World Congress, Schmidt informed a small gathering of reporters that Google could work with advertisers to “extend offers to phones with NFC chips.” By Schmidt’s estimation, advertisers are largely chomping at the bit to “combine an ad and an offer, presumably at the point of sale.”

Google has set its sights on neighborhood mom-and-pop shops, where it sees a largely untapped group of business customers and advertisers.

According to the NYT report, Google continues to grapple with a number of challenges that accompany deploying new technologies like NFC. Google hopes, for example, to avoid spending large quantities of cash and ample amounts of time training an army of local salespeople who would gain insight into consumer spending habits in designated markets.

“NFC has been around for a long time but everything has just started to come together,” said Schmidt, who remains confident that Google will successfully leverage the opportunities born of NFC despite current obstacles.

“My phone remembers I need new pants,” says Schmidt, “and it knows ahead of me are two stores–one offering the product at a 20 percent discount, the other offering a 30 percent discount. I enter the store with the bigger discount, the pants are ready, and out I go. You don’t think this is going to work? It should revolutionize electronic commerce and payments. We’re seeing that models around consumerism are working when they’re tied to location and advertising.”