Mobile Wallets are getting a bit closer to reality now. A source from Bloomberg.com reported today that Google will roll-out test systems together with VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY), in New York and San Francisco, for NFC smartphone payments of retail purchases. Supposedly, Google is buying up thousands of the VeriFone NFC payment systems to trial the mobile payments in retail stores around the two cities.
We've already reported last year about Google wanting to get into this market, and it seems they are getting started now. To reiterate the technology for those who missed out, NFC stands for Near Field Communications. It allows you to basically use your NFC enabled smartphone, like the Nexus S, to electronically pay for purchases in retail outlets by "swiping" your phone near the payment device.
The technology has been both praised and criticized. It obviously would be a very convenient advancement; however, several pundits point out the potential security risk for using such devices. Ultimately, only testing and time will allow us to determine if any potential security issues can be addressed, and if the risks out-weigh the benefits. Google's test run in New York and San Francisco is expected to commence within the next four months.
Source: Engadget via Bloomberg