Although companies like RIM and Google are taking steps to make near-field communication more prevalent in the mobile realm, the tech isn't exactly widespread just yet. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, though, Google may be aiming to change that in the near future. The always-mysterious "people familiar with the matter" have told the WSJ that Google is teaming up with MasterCard and Citigroup to create a system for Android users to make payments with their phones with an embedded NFC chip. The system will reportedly only work with the Nexus S (perhaps as part of its improved NFC capabilities?) initially, although it'll eventually be available in several future Android devices. Verifone is expected to provide the mobile payment terminals to businesses, and when a user waves or taps their NFC-enabled device at the terminal, the payment would take place. It's being said that Google doesn't plan to take a cut of the transaction fees, but it will gather data about users to sell to other companies to improve targeted ads and offer discounts to people near the stores. The report claims that Google expects to launch the system sometime this year.
A partnership between Google and some of the biggest credit card companies around could really do wonders for the adoption of NFC, especially with the popularity of Android-powered devices. One potential roadblock, though, could be consumers concerned with people stealing their financial information. Although the mobile payment system would be secure and card companies would refund any unauthorized purchases, I've got a feeling that most people would still be a little hesitant to take advantage of using NFC with any kind of regularity. What do you all think about NFC-enabled mobile payments? Does it sound like something you'd take advantage of or would you rather stick to using plastic?