Google will present a "mobile wallet" system tomorrow that will let shoppers make payments using their mobile phones instead of cards or cash.
The web giant has developed the system in partnership with credit card company Mastercard and global bank Citigroup, the Reuters news agency reported today. US retailers including American Eagle Outfitters, Subway and Macy’s have signed up to the scheme, it says.
The report does not contain technical specifications of the system. However, Google’s mobile wallet strategy is expected to involve near-field communications, or ‘contactless’, technology, such as is used on London’s Oyster card scheme, because the latest versions of its own Nexus S smartphone range contain NFC components.
Meanwhile, Apple is believed to developing its own mobile wallet system. There is speculation that it may not adopt NFC in the system, possibly leading to a technological schism in mobile payments.
The likely impact of Google and Apple’s involvement in mobile payments is the subject of the May issue of Information Age‘s cover feature, which you can preview here.