Google Forms Mobile Payments Partnership with Mastercard and Citigroup

Google is aiming to become the gold standard in mobile payments systems.

The Internet giant is partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup to embed technology in Android mobile devices that will enable consumers to make purchases at points of sale using nothing more than their mobile devices.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the project in development at Google will make it possible for Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards to pay for purchases by “activating a mobile-payment application developed for one current model and many coming models of Android phones.”

No shortage of tech and mobile analysts believe that Google’s efforts, coupled with Apple’s rumored foray into the world of Near Field Communications technology – will finally usher in the age of the “electronic wallet.”

The credit-card readers involved all use “near field communication” technology that is already in place at thousands of merchants nationwide. Today, customers who have credit cards embedded with that technology have the option of waving a card in front of a reader, instead of using a traditional swipe method.

“A phone is a lot smarter than a card,” said Doug Bergeron, VeriFone’s chief executive. “It opens the door to a rich experience at the point of sale that retailers really covet.”