Mountain View giant Google is said to be considering a move into mobile phone credit card payments, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal.
Reports suggest that the search engine is poised to forge bonds with MasterCard and Citigroup so that Android users will have the ability to pay for purchases with the help of ‘near-field communications’ technology (NFC).
At the launch of the Nexus S, allusions were made to such a move, and fans of Android are welcoming the development. NFC mobile payments are also rumoured to be making their way to Apple devices in the near future, with many expecting subsequent iPhones to be equipped with NFC chips, while Orange has already joined forces with Barclaycard with the aim of offering contactless payments.
If the reports are true, Google could be set to open a new round of iPhone versus Android debates, claims SEO company Queryclick.com. A spokesperson said: “It’s a slow burning battle, but Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhones are set to continue squabbling for top position in the hearts of smartphones fans for years to come.
“While Apple may have had the initial advantage, technology geeks quickly embrace the flexibility and functionality of the Android operating system. New moves like this are exactly the kind of thing Google can use to its advantage, and if it beats Apple to the punch with contactless payments, it could cement its place at the top.”
The Nexus S is currently the only NFC ready phone on the market, although Samsung is slated to be releasing the Galaxy S II with this functionality in the summer. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has already announced NFC technology will not be included in the iPhone 5, stating his belief that the technology is still at too early a stage of its evolutionary process.