On the heels of Square's mobile payments launch, Google is also planning a scheme to let you make payments using your phone.
According to Bloomberg, Google is getting ready to unveil a mobile payment system on May 26 that will let Android users of some Sprint/Nextel phones make payments using Near Field Communications (NFC). One obvious candidate: Google's own Nexus S 4G. That will let users pay for objects at NFC-equipped registers simply by waving their phones close to the till. The backend will rely on VERIFONE and Vivotech to complete the billing. Previous Google NFC payment rumors implicated Mastercard and Citigroup as well.
It's rather different than the Square service announced yesterday, which requires both the customer and merchant to be running the Square app on their iPhones and (in the merchant's case) iPad register. It seems like bad news for Square, as it will be much easier to wave a phone with NFC and have the payment come (presumably) directly from the user's phone bill than to have both parties running a dedicated app. And of course, as NFC continues to show up in more phones, that will increasingly drive adoption. [Bloomberg]