Google recently placed an ad for an “EMEA head of commerce marketing” role–the ad popped up on LinkedIn and Google’s own jobs site, but has since been taken out of public view. Among the roles for the position, Google specifically mentioned its “mobile wallet” and “offers” plans, which would leverage wireless wave-and-pay and location-based technology to let smartphone owners pay with their phones at checkouts while simultaneously collecting loyalty points or coupon special offers.
Though so far the NFC offering is still largely in the works rather than a market reality, it is near or at the top of the priority lists of senior managements at many big companies such as telcos and handset manufacturers. Google is hoping to push the market developments by providing better support for NFC from its Android platform. And it appears that there will be specific applications and services based on NFC as well.
Considering Google’s Nexus smartphone has NFC tech built in, and Android OS increasingly supports interactive NFC data handling, the news is a direct confirmation that Google is taking NFC mobile wallets very seriously. Since more Android smartphones arrive on the market every day, and Google-powered phones are most numerous in the smartphone market, it looks more and more likely that NFC will be a part of our daily lives sooner rather than later.
Besides Google’s efforts, there continue to be small scale trials of NFCs around the world for different applications. A recent trail in Beijing used NFC as tickets for a musical event:
At the Beijing Strawberry Music Festival last week, Jiepang handed out 1,000 NFC tags that let folks check in at the event merely by waving the tag over a reader, as well as at different venues on site.
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