It looks like Google is getting with the mobile payment program.
On Tuesday, Businessweek reported that search engine giant Google is said to be considering “a payment and advertising service that would let users buy milk and bread by tapping or waving their mobile phones against a register at checkout.”
Information about Google’s supposed willingness to build their own branded mobile payment system isn’t groundbreaking, given the atmosphere of inevitability that has engulfed the tech industry at large with regard to near-field communication technology. And according to the report, Google’s system would, in fact, be based on NFC, which can beam and receive information wirelessly from up to four inches away.
Google is wise to be making a move into the NFC market in 2011. Based on the conservative estimates of IE Market Research, the NFC market may account for one-third of the $1.13 trillion in global mobile-payment transactions projected for 2014.
The practical value of NFC technology is such that its already making for strange bedfellows, a reality displayed in full view as of late 2010, when Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile USA formed a venture called “Isis.” The collective body will offer an NFC-based service beginning next year. Visa, on the other hand, will be ready to test its “contactless payments systems” soon, with hopes of a widespread commercial introduction by summer. That’s according to Bill Gajda, Visa’s head of mobile innovation.
Although obviously partial to the cause, Charles Walton, chief operating officer for NFC chipmaker Inside Secure, says NFC’s growth will be rampant in the coming months and years, with profound changes on tap for the way consumers do business. “NFC could displace the cash register,” says Walton. “This is going to come superfast.”
If it’s true that the likes of Google and Apple are ready and willing to embrace NFC technology, “superfast” may very well be a correct estimate for the speed at which NFC technology will expand in 2011 and beyond.