Google NFC mobile payments edge closer

Deal with Citi and Mastercard bringing mobile wallet skills to Android

Tie-up only in early stages, but battle lines in smartphone wallet wars being drawn.

Google has hooked up with US bank Citigroup and credit card types MasterCard with a view to releasing a dedicated mobile wallet for its Android operating system. That’s according to, “…people familiar with the matter,” who have spoken to The Wall Street Journal.

Word is that customers with a Citigroup debit or credit card would be able to pair their plastic with their Android phone using a specially-designed mobile wallet app. They could then use the embedded NFC tech to use contactless payment machines to pay for stuff using their smartphone.

Of course, with Google involved, users will get targeted ads and offers depending on purchases. There’ll even be a way of tracking expenditure via the mobile wallet app.

Apparently, the new service is being developed with, “…one current [Android] model,” presumably the NFC-packing Nexus S. However, plenty more forthcoming phones are said to be getting the service.

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