Google is working with Citigroup and and MasterCard to develop a mobile purchasing system for Android smartphones. This would allow users to make purchases by simply waving their devices at a checkout counter.
Rather than swiping your MasterCard or debit card at a counter, you might soon be waving your Droid to pay for purchases. This would be done by activating a mobile-payment application designed for your specific Android phone model.
In addition to the payment technology, Android users would also be able to manage credit-card accounts and track spending on their device. This can be done now, of course, but I suspect that this function will be included in one universal payment application. The payment system is expected to require that your device have an NFC chip. Currently, the Samsung Nexus S is the only Android phone available that includes the technology.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the planned payment system would allow Google to offer retailers more data about their customers and help them target ads to mobile-device users near their stores. In turn, this would be a huge boost to the company’s advertising operation. The WSJ also reported that Walmart is already negotiating with Google.