Google readies 2011 pay-by-wave for Nexus S wallet chip
Just brandish your blower to buy, for realz this time
Google is planning to launch an NFC-based pay-by-wave system, quite possibly this year, according to anonymous sources who talked to Bloomberg about the chocolate-factory's plans.
Not that the sources revealed much in the way of detail, only that Google is developing support for payments to be made in physical stores with a wave of the phone, and is running to a schedule that could see a commercial service launched this year, but who would run that service and what devices would be supported are the really important questions that remain unanswered.
Bloomberg quotes two sources, which has become traditional when one wishes an unfounded rumour to be taken seriously, but it's hardly controversial to suggest that Google is planning a proximity-payment system based on Near Field Communications – all the evidence points in that direction. The company won't say who holds the keys to the secure element embedded in the Nexus S, but it's hard to imagine Samsung would be allowed to retain such an important property, which leaves Google in control.
NFC transactions don't require a secure element – Bling Nation is happily running a payment system that uses a passive sticker that passes a customer number to the in-store reader with limited-but-generally-good-enough security – but the secure element makes transactions much more secure as well as providing space for alternative payment applications – so a Visa card can be added, or a Tesco loyalty card installed.
The owner of the secure element controls what can be installed and by whom. The Nexus S supports a secure element on the SIM card, under the control of the network operator, but it also has an embedded secure element (almost certainly) under the control of Google, which is where we would expect to see a physical incarnation of Google Checkout.
Such an application could be installed in other secure elements, on other phones, and Google would no doubt allow Visa and Mastercard applications as an optional download, but coming pre-installed is a significant advantage.
The search giant obviously has more plans for the NFC functionality of the Nexus S, despite the limited API in the initial release (which can only read and write tags, with no secure-element communications at all). The few hundred Hotpot stickers so far sent out are nothing compared to the 100,000 QR Codes that Google sent out as part of its 2009 attempt to get physical. Google payments are coming, but even Google will have to work hard before customers let the search engine manage their wallets. ®
"but the secure element makes transactions much more secure"
Surely you mean: "but the secure element makes it easier for banks/google/whoever to pass the liability for fraud to the customer."
I would propose a different idea. Google has clearly identified that they are interested in the 'Groupon-like' market. If they are able to track basic shopping patterns and combine that with collected data of web browsing then I'd say Google has a serious competitive edge in that market space. After all the only reason why organizations allow these types of cupons to be used is to simply drive business. By entering this space it can help drive two new lines of business for Google. Smart play.
New ways to fund terrorism
Pay by Wave = Terrorist Funders Wet Dream
Naff All security
and rip off 50p 2 million times in a year = £1m/pa raised for the terrorist of your choice
card owners probabaly wont notice
the police would not be interested in the report of a 50p crime
banks will just write it off as the cost of doing business.