Google Wallet to be compatible across platforms

Late last year Google announced the Nexus S, the first mobile phone to be equipped with NFC (Near-field Communication) technology. We haven't seen widespread adoption of the standard yet, but Google released a product called "Google Wallet" which is essentially a way to pay for things by just tapping your mobile to a terminal in shops. Handy, but yet to roll out.

There were a few things that were unclear, however. Google had never mentioned if it intended to bring the product to other platforms, nor did it mention when it was to launch. Today, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that Google would port their Wallet product to the iPhone, provided Apple build in the NFC support it required, according to Electronista

He went on to say that "most vendors" planned on adding NFC to their platform, with RIM adding support to all their upcoming devices, the recently announced Nokia N9, and rumors that Windows Phone would be receiving support for NFC soon, too. Apparently LG and Sony Ericsson have said that they would add support using Android, too. 

Schmidt went on to say that "as many as a third of checkouts at restaurants and stores would have NFC support within the next 12 months" and that the readers and software would be ready by the summer of 2012.

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NFC will work in eventually. Just like magnetic cards etc. to replace cash. sure people worry about security but what about stealing your card and pin? same diff with the phone really. The bugs will get worked out over time.

Auzeras said,
NFC will work in eventually. Just like magnetic cards etc. to replace cash. sure people worry about security but what about stealing your card and pin? same diff with the phone really. The bugs will get worked out over time.

Likely, it won't.

NFC doesn't solve any problems and right now there is absolutely no incentive for merchants to accept NFC payments.

The hardware is expensive, even when subsidized, and the payments space is all about the bottom line. They aren't necessarily getting a better rate for accepting NFC (some merchants do get subsidized rates) and they still have to buy the hardware. For a big retail chain, that could run into the millions.

Just remember, that NFC right now doesn't replace cash, and cash will never be completely replaced. There is still about 10% of the U.S. population that are unbanked.

The problem with NFC is that it modifies purchaser behavior without adding any benefit.

I can either:

A) Pull out my wallet, which I'm not going to stop carrying just because of NFC, pull out my credit card, give it a swipe and put it back in my wallet.

OR

B) Pull out my cell phone, press my unlock key, enter my lock screen PIN, navigate to the wallet app, select the card I want to use, tap my phone, lock the screen and put it back into my pocket.

As for security, there are inherent risks with NFC.

NFC cards are pushed to the device by the card issuers. You cannot input the card information manually because when they push down that data, they are pushing ALL the data on both card tracks. This ensures that when you tap the phone, the merchant gets card present "swiped" rates instead of downgrading.

While this method might not be any more or less secure than a standard credit card, what we are worried about is card data at rest.

NFC is a subset of RFID, it is shorter range but can be amplified and can be intercepted by a crafty thief with the right equipment. There are currently no encryption standards in place for NFC data stored at rest in your smartphone. Someone can virtually steal your card, exactly like stealing the physical thing, without you even knowing.

What it really comes down to is this: (From: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2385984,00.asp)

"The most important way to ensure NFC's success? Encourage the consumer to tap, not swipe, until it becomes a habit. Still, the road will be a long one, Sharma said. "We are looking at the 2013 or 2014 timeframe before you even get penetration."

Security Concerns, Customer Data stored in the cloud and moving over public wireless carrier networks, consumer behavior modifications and other issues will likely stop NFC dead in its tracks and technologies that tie in P2P and C2M (Consumer to Merchant) mobile payments like RhinoPay, Dwolla and Corduro will likely fill the consumer need for virtual payment options.

A lot of retail locations still have to swipe the card for you (such as where I work) and then kill additional trees because they dont have the pad, you have to sign on receipt paper.

As I work in retail I argue he is totally wrong on the 1/3 number because hardly any company is going to spend money on something that doesn't have any real benefit in especially during these economic times. If they already have it or buy it as part of new stores being setup thats something, but not going out of their way to add it on.

Skittlebrau said,
The first mobile phone with NFC? I think not...

Japan has been using NFC for at least a decade.


Massproduced NFC, then.

Owen W said,

Massproduced NFC, then.

The only 'first' title it can claim may be 'the first Android phone to ship with NFC in the US. Nokia C7 aka Astound was the first widely available smartphone to ship with NFC.

The Nokia 6131 NFC was the first commercially available handset with integrated NFC. Now discontinued.
Sources:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...field_communication#history
2. http://www.nearfieldcommunicat...com/nfc-phones-list/#museum

The Nokia 3220 (brick + cover) was the first NFC handset available commercially. NFC module was integrated in the removable cover of the cell phone.
Source: http://www.nfc-research.at/index.php?id=45

The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum was established by Nokia, Philips And Sony in 2004. So don't you think naturally one of them will have the 'first'
Source: http://www.nfc-forum.org/news/...e2509e5b74247d1366dc8ef91d8

Edited by liju, Jun 24 2011, 8:31am : added more firsts ans sources

Once Google ports this to iPhone (possibily 5 or 4S which might come with NFC chip), Apple will go all excited about it, and act as though it is exclusive for the iPhone... (that is just my guess...)

MetallicToast said,
Once Google ports this to iPhone (possibily 5 or 4S which might come with NFC chip), Apple will go all excited about it, and act as though it is exclusive for the iPhone... (that is just my guess...)

Or they'll block the app and make their own iWallet and act like they're revolutionizing NFC payments. They will also charge retailers 40% of the sales to use the service.

Xcursion said,

Or they'll block the app and make their own iWallet and act like they're revolutionizing NFC payments. They will also charge retailers 40% of the sales to use the service.

That's a more likely outcome for this.