Google is preparing to test NFC smartphone payments in New York and San Francisco within the next four months, Bloomberg reports.
Now more than ever, a major roadblock to the uptake of new technology is the cost of upgrade. To remedy this, Google themselves will finance the installation of thousands of payment stations throughout the two cities.
News of the trial comes after yesterday’s rumours that the iPhone 5 will not use the “wave and pay” NFC tech.
If successful, the trial could provide the Android platform with yet another advantage over other smartphones.
The latest Google sets are already ahead of the competition, equipped with next-gen dual-core CPUs and 4G connections. With a working NFC payment system in its arsenal, the market leader would be well placed to grow its share even further.
There are already a variety of NFC-ready Android sets available, like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Google Nexus S.
For the past ten years consumers in Japan have been able to use their phones as a credit card replacement, or to buy small items, like vending machine snacks, directly.
Apart from ease of use, NFC is advantageous because information like a delivery address can be uploaded easily, with next to no user input needed.
Enabled mobiles and payment stations contain chips with built-in wire coils. When phone and scanner meet, typically at a distance no more than 4 to 5 centimetres, the reader generates a magnetic field allowing wireless data to pass between the devices and complete the transaction.
The UK will not be left out of the revolution, either. O2 have plans to roll out an NFC e-wallet system later this year hoping to have the technology in use in time for the London 2012 Olympics.