Google Getting behind NFC to Reportedly Test New Mobile Payment Service

Anyone looking to confirm Google’s burgeoning interest in mobile payment systems should have a full plate of additional evidence this summer as the Internet search giant is reportedly pushing ahead with a trial run for a new mobile payment service at New York and San Francisco-based stores.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning that in four months the trial program Google is launching will enable shoppers to use their phones to ring up purchases in the aforementioned locations.

The company will pay for installation of thousands of special cash-register systems from VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY) at merchant locations, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because Google’s plans haven’t been made public. The registers would accept payments from mobile phones equipped with so-called near-field-communication technology.

The news from Google follows Monday’s report that Apple is reportedly moving ahead with its fifth generation iPhone and not including NFC technology as originally anticipated. It’s a decision that could give more NFC-friendly mobile phone markers an upper hand in the burgeoning business of mobile payments, particularly Google’s Nexus S, which already sports NFC technology.

Speaking in Barcelona, Spain last month at the Mobile World Congress, Google’s chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said “NFC has been around for a long time but everything has just started to come together.” Schmidt reiterated his confidence 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.”

According to Bloomberg, Google’s rumored venture in New York and San Francisco will further cement the company’s place within a “growing field of companies experimenting with NFC.”