Gingerbread to usher Android into the mobile payment era

Gingerbread to usher Android into the mobile payment era
Among the things that Google's CEO Eric Schmidt talked about yesterday, was a pretty significant tidbit about the NFC chip in the Nexus S, that enables contactless payment. Gingerbread, the latest version of Android, will be able to utilize such chips for mobile payments and product promotions on-the-fly. What Google's main man is envisioning is not only waving your phone in front of a POS terminal to pay for goods and services, but actually receiving up-to-date information about promotions or other sales activities upon entering a store, or while walking down the street, tailored to the specific shops around you, provided that you have these options turned on.

He dismissed security concerns, saying that NFC is more secure than the magnetic stripe we use in credit or debit cards for our everyday transactions. Google has also been updating its Shopper and Product Search applications for Android recently, obviously in relation to the mobile payment capabilities that Gingerbread will bring.

We wrote extensively about the mobile payments status quo around the world and in the US a few months ago, and it's great to see the things advancing at the fast pace expected in Q4 of this year. AT&T, Sprint and Verizon have already tested and announced mobile payment initiatives. The major US carriers also clarified that the fruits of their mobile wallet project collaboration will be revealed today, and we will certainly see the payment juggernauts Visa and MasterCard stop and listen, since the carriers are partnering with the underdog Discover.

Knowing that Apple is hard at work to offer something similar in the next generation iPhone, and now having Android plus the US carriers jumping on that bandwagon, makes us think that the mobile payment revolution will have a pivotal year in 2011. Your leather wallet, and the credit card companies, should be watching the developments very, very closely, despite that Eric Schmidt said Google will partner, rather than compete, with the likes of Visa.

What nobody is clarifying yet, is if your phone gets lost together with all these payment niceties in it, what are you going to call from to lock it? We feel that less and less people will be forgetting their phones in cabs from now on.

What does everybody think, will you be using a well-implemented shopping and payment experience on your next-gen iPhone or Android device? Do you think it brings more convenience than just swiping a card, if promotions, discounts and in-store locations are fed to your phone in real time? And finally, who will be able to make it cool enough in the US first - Apple, Google, or the carriers?

source: Reuters



1. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

thats neat and worrysome at the same time. i dont think ill be doing that unless they figure out a way to remote wipe 100%, even if the crook switches sim cards.

2. calam unregistered

I second that - I'm sure we'd still have to type in PIN numbers and stuff. Otherwise if I lose the phone and have nowhere to call from to block all those services, will be greeted with a nice little bill at the end of the month...

4. ssjassassin

Posts: 108; Member since: Aug 31, 2009

With credit card fraud the way it is today i'm surprised that this really bothers you. I would find it hard to not notify my credit card company once i lost my phone. I would also think that the card only works when it is in service with your phone number. I also would expect that you protect your phone with some type of password to prevent access without master resetting the phone. What will be hard is when your phone is dead and can not make a purchase at your local Walmart for tampons and diapers.

3. dvase

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 22, 2010

It seems obvious to me that the next step is to integrate biometric identification, eg. fingerprint, facial recognition, etc., into the phone to prevent unauthorized access/payment.

5. bohannibal

Posts: 27; Member since: Aug 17, 2009

The only thing i would worry about is my phone dying because i know you would have to use a PIN every time you use this service and that makes it safer because if you lose your debt card they can just run it as a credit at any store this service is the one of the only things my phone is missing and a front facing camera but that to is coming in 2011 for verizon bye bye wallet :)

6. Maxmicha

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

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