The iPhone isn’t likely to get NFC-capabilities allowing it to function as a credit card until 2012, according to most reports, but Apple’s biggest competitor in the smartphone arena has no intention of waiting so long: Google is preparing to unveil their own mobile payment system on May 26th.
According to Bloomberg, Google’s new mobile payment system will leverage the NFC chips found in some Android phones — specifically, those available on Sprint/Nextel, like Google’s Nexus S 4G — and allow them to be used at NFC-equipped cash registers, paying for goods and service with a mere wave.
Previously, Google was rumored to be teaming up with Mastercard and Citigroup for a mobile payment service. It looks like those rumors might soon see fruition.
If so, and if Apple doesn’t enter the mobile payment arena until 2012, as suggested, Google will have quite the leg up on Apple when it comes to NFC payments. Of course, that’s not always a good thing: Google recently beat Apple to the cloud with their Google Music Beta service, a service that is widely said to be thin on features compared to Apple’s own offering, to be debuted at next month’s WWDC. Will Google Mobile Payments be the same, or is a year lead time plenty of time for Google to shore up the market?