It looks like mobile payments are coming to Android phones quite soon, at least some Android phones. Bloomberg is reporting that three people familiar with the matter say that Google plans to unveil their mobile payment service this Thursday, May 26th.
Google will use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to allow users to make payments with a swipe of their smartphones at retailers equipped with NFC capable POS systems.
NFC is a short range wireless technology that allows two devices to communicate information if they are in close proximity to one another. NFC chips can be integrated into a handset or on the device's SIM card.
Currently, NFC is available on the Sprint Nexus S Android smartphone, but the sources say that the NFC and mobile payments will be available on other Sprint phones as well.
According to Bloomberg, Google plans to introduce the mobile payment service in five cities - New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC. They are using technology from VeriFone and ViVOtech to run the service say the sources.
Google has sent out invitations to a press conference in New York on Thursday.
Early reports about the upcoming iPhone (whether it be the 4S or the 5) indicated that Apple would be introducing NFC technology for mobile payments. But recent reports say that it is unlikely that the new iPhones will have mobile payment functionality.