Rumor: Google to Use MasterCard and Citigroup Tech for NFC Android Phones

Illustration for article titled Rumor: Google to Use MasterCard and Citigroup Tech for NFC Android Phones

According to the WSJ, Google is to collaborate with MasterCard and Citigroup to embed NFC tech into Android phones. This would see anyone with a MasterCard or Citigroup debit/credit card able to pay with a wave of their Androidphone on a VeriFone cashpoint reader.

Google won't take any money from the customer, but will give them an awful lot of data about customers' buying habits. This data will be passed onto the retailers, so they can advertize better and even offer discounts when those customers are within close proximity to a branch.

There are already a couple of NFC Androids in the wild—or soon to be released, anyway—but there will be plenty more hitting stores this year using Google's NFC tech. Not to mention the upcoming BlackBerry models with inbuilt NFC, and possibly an iPhone, too. [WSJ]


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I still don't know who actually wants this. NFC point of sale transactions are nothing new. I had one of those little credit-card keychain things years ago. However they still haven't caught on some ten years later, not because the technology doesn't work, but because people don't want it.

To put it another way, why would I want to be able to make payments by waving my phone or other device over a reader? How is that significantly better than swiping my card or handing over cash? Also there are already plenty of security problems with credit and debit cards, why would I want to add to those problems by carrying a device or object that can be scanned from more than a foot away with the correct equipment?

Perhaps phones will be more secure than the little keychain dongles, but still if someone wants to steal my money I want them to have to go to the effort to at least physically pick my pocket.