The latest technological innovation from Google promises to allow users to be able to pay for items with their Android smartphones when they are out shopping; the app is also intended to take the place of their user's loyalty cards.
The technology is going to be utilizing NFC (or near field communications) in order to allow it to make the intended transactions possible; this means that the app will only work at shops that have the appropriate technology installed, allowing NFC communication.
The app is being developed as a joint-venture between MasterCard, Google, Citi and First Data, with the intention of allowing users to be able to “tap, pay and save”. The app is going to be subsequently developed to allow its users to instantly redeem any special offers of loyalty points that may have been earned. Google say that the long-term goals for the app are to extend the service to other day-to-day functions, such as tickets, flight boarding passes, keys and identification.
Although the app is already in development, it seems that it may take some time for smartphone handsets to catch up with the technology, as the Samsung Nexus S is the only Android handset which already has the short range NFC capabilities required for it to function.
Google's latest endeavour has upset established e-wallet providers PayPal, who have launched legal action against them, claiming that Google are breaching the use of their trade secrets. PayPal alleged that Google headhunted one of their senior executives, Osama Bedier, with a view to stealing the work that he had been doing for PayPal for the last decade – expanding online payment options to mobile applications.