Google plans to begin testing a mobile payment service within the next four months, according to a report today.
The company will pay for the installation of thousands of NFC (Near-Field Communication) short-range, wireless point-of-sale systems from VeriFone at stores in New York and San Francisco, Bloomberg reported, citing two unidentified sources familiar with the project. Users of phones with NFC chips in them could then make payments by holding the devices up to the specialized reader.
A Google representative said the company was not commenting on the report. Representatives from VeriFone did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The adoption of mobile payment systems has been held up by the lack of NFC chips in handsets. Later this year, Visa will begin offering a way to use existing smartphones for such payments with a microSD (Secure Digital) removable memory card.
Mobile payments are being made on the iPhone 3 and 4, various BlackBerry models, and Samsung's Android-based Galaxy S II, while the Nexus S has NFC technology in it. NFC chips also could make their way into Windows-based phones made by Nokia, as well as future iPhone versions.
Meanwhile, Google added some NFC capabilities to Android in an update earlier this year and reportedly is working on a mobile wallet code-named "Cream" that will be integrated into NFC-enabled Androids.