Google smart phone to support contactless payments


Contactless payment is a growing trend, with new figures from Barclays and Barclaycard showing that the number of transactions has already reached one million this year. Since January, there has been a 217% rise in monthly contactless transactions, and this figure is likely to soar in the near future with the arrival of mobile payments via smartphones.


Smartphone brands prepare to adopt contactless payment
Mobile brands have, until now, been reluctant to adopt contactless payment technology, amid concerns over financial and data security and the costs of installing readers in retail outlets. Leading credit card providers have already embraced contactless technology and it seems as though the mobile industry has finally decided to come onboard.

This week, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt gave the public a glimpse of the company's next Android mobile phone. Showing off the handset as he opened the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on November 15, he revealed that it will support near field communication (NFC) technology, which will enable users to make contactless payments thanks to an in-built chip.

"This could replace your credit card," Mr Schmidt told delegates. "The reason this NFC chip is so interesting is because the credit card industry thinks the loss rate is going to be much better, they're just more secure." However, he implied that widespread adoption of payment via smartphones could take a while, admitting: "I anticipate my credit cards will be around for some time."

'Key enabler'
Smartphone technology is likely to be a key enabler in the development of contactless payments, according to Neil Munroe of Equifax. The company's external affairs director said that he expects the progress of smartphone payment technology to be "steady," although he insisted that traditional credit cards will "stay around for a while".

Mr Munroe said that the ultimate goal is to get "one piece of equipment which does everything, because everybody gets a little bit fed up carrying around loads of "cards and loads of phones." He claimed: "Anybody who can generate one piece of equipment that does as many of those things that you would have to do with separate cards or phones will probably succeed."


Published: 19 November 2010