Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

Summary: Google and Sprint are expected to announce this week a mobile payment system that could jump-start a long-awaited race.

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Has the time finally come for mobile payments? We've been hearing about it for years but Bloomberg is reporting today that Google will announce this week a mobile payment system that will work with select Android-powered Sprint phones.

Also: Google and Sprint's mobile payment announcement coming this week

The service, which would use near-field communications (NFC) technology, would focus not just on payments but also rewards offers, coupons and targeted advertising, something that goes right to the heart of Google's revenue model.

NFC Technology

The report said the service would roll out in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington. Google is hosting a press event in New York on Thursday.

The timing may be right for the slow roll-out of a system like this, wallet-replacement technology. I'm not saying that I expect to see these payment systems going mainstream overnight. Smartphones have hit the mainstream, the comfort levels with apps and mobile broadband are gaining traction and the trust levels around mobile security are improving.

Personally, I'm ready for it. But, like many other technologies before this, fragmentation will slow down the progress. The Bloomberg reports suggests that Apple may soon roll-out a similar NFC payment system and highlights ISIS, a joint project between AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile expected to roll-out in two cities early next year.

By putting different technologies into the marketplace, it will force hard choices for consumers, retailers and advertisers. There are some technologies where choices are a good thing but other technologies where a winner really has to be declared - you know, like Blu-Ray or HD-DVD?

Mobile payments will be an important turning point for businesses, consumers and the overall economy. And while the fragmentation may seem like an obstacle for a while, it will actually force the players to differentiate themselves by innovating and enhancing the services quickly.

Under that scenario, the technology will be even better in the coming years as it starts to spread into the mainstream.

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Topics: Mobility, Banking, Enterprise Software, Google, Telcos

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34 comments
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  • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

    Of course, Apple will try to release their own proprietary version that will fail, just like Apple Talk.

    Let the professionals take this, Apple. Sheesh.
    Droid101
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Droid101
      That's the old Apple, new Apple won't rush things, they will get it right... notice the article said "will work with select Android-powered Sprint phones" yup that's Android for you, some things work on some phones, others don't... frustrating if you are a user...
      Hasam1991
      • Devices with NFC only can process it...

        @Hasam1991
        Does Nexus S with NFC rings bell....? All other phones don't have NFC.... hence "select".... So tainted perception that brain stops processing proper logical deductions ...
        ashwinipn
      • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

        @Hasam1991 "Select" meaning "newer." Or perhaps "select" means "Android and not non-Android." The only frustration I see from fellow Android users is more an issue of Verizon vs Sprint, and that will crop up when Verizon Android users start crying "what about us?"
        big red one
      • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

        @Hasam1991 Apple will fail to get it right. Just like their whole shitty ecosystem which is now collapsing.
        Jimster480
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Droid101 The professionals haha and who would that be really. This tech is not new its been used and has been very successful in south korea and china. This tech will eliminate wallets stupid applications for rewards programs and scurrying through newspapers if people still even use paper these days. Oh the old generation you guys are so freaked out about security problems online and wirelessly. I see the faults in the security issues with the mobile os systems but RIM is always on the ball for privacy and consumer security. Wait until they hop on the NFC wagon then the world will.
      peacedizzle
  • >

    >>
    Programmer1028
  • Insecure OS, poorly written apps, wireless link, ...

    What could possibly go wrong?
    Programmer1028
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Programmer1028

      Yeah, the OS on your credit cards is so much more secure, right?
      tkejlboom
      • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

        @tkejlboom There IS no OS on your credit card. There is data, but no OS, and yes, that, too, can be very insecure.
        sackbut
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Programmer1028

      LOL! Hopefully, it would 'brick up' giving you the utmost security!
      sirpaul2
  • Great, android and ios are the two least secure mobile os'es

    The perfect malware playgrounds for this to become a cluster. Not sure where the bs line about trust levels around mobile security improving comes from. Maybe the braindead masses who dont read, you know the same ones who have multiple malware variants on their phones right now...
    Johnny Vegas
  • Why Wouldn't I Trust Google With My Wallet?

    It's not like they keep tabs on me;-)
    Gr8Music
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Gr8Music

      Yes, trust your massive multi-national bank instead. It's not like they'll be irresponsible with your money, you know, except for the occasional completely unnecessary global meltdown, and the terror of the potential relapse due to derivatives they're still holding.
      tkejlboom
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Gr8Music Or that they want to send you "select" messages to influence your pirchasing decisions. I couldn't stand that kind of intrusion!
      Willnott
  • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

    A lot of narrow minded, kool-aid thinkers commenting here. Don't mistake open for insecure. The key to focus on is NFC, as NFC becomes widespread amongst the mobile manufacturers you'll see this trend take hold. Do you really think it will be implemented for every mobile OS out the gate? Most people don't realize what personal info they're giving up using a lot of the "free" mobile apps out there. Security is always a concern or should be to the end user. If you trust Apple to do it right but doubt Google merely based on brand your logic is faulty. @wmlpez
    wmlpez
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @wmlpez Well, at least kool-aid doesn't make you drunk & take away your senses!
      Willnott
  • Hopefully they use the new technology to fix old problems

    Please let this be the end of the static credit card number. New technology makes means the number does not need to be static and it is an unnecessary security gap. Every transaction should change your verification number and only one vendor should be able to use that number and only for a limited amount of time.
    richardgarrick
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Just Me_z

      Agreed. RSA has done it for eons!
      kevindsingleton
    • RE: Google, Sprint head to starting gate as flag goes up on mobile payment race

      @Just Me_z,

      A lot of credit cards now support "virtual" card numbers. I use this when making online or on-the-phone purchases. The way it works is you either use your credit card's web site or install their app and generate a new card # on the spot, set a unique expiration date and a maximum value that can be charged to it. This prevents vendors from charging more than the agreed upon amount and I've busted a couple (Quicken, for one) trying to charge more. I can get a report of all virtual numbers generated, how much has been charged to each, how much remains on each, etc... I can also change the allocated amount to any virtual number that's not been fully charged to it's allocated amount and is not expired.

      A LOT of you have this feature, but most don't know about it. Citi cards has this, for one. I used to have another that had it... can't remember which one.
      Software Architect 1982