Google wants your credit card details

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting spin on exactly why Google is so keen to push NFC capabilities onto Android handsets - it isn't because it wants to make your shopping experience easier, it's because it's after your credit card details.

Not for a dodgy card skimming scheme you understand - the Big G isn't going to clone your identity and run off to Bolivia with a suitcase full of designer gear and gadgets that you've paid for.

Instead, it wants your spending history so it can sell targeted adverts to businesses that will then appear on your NFC-enabled Android handset.

The WSJ's report suggests that Google has done a deal with Mastercard and Citigroup, which would see holders of cards from the big bank be able to make instant payments on VeriFone Systems' machines when they are out and about.

Google wouldn't be getting a cut of any transaction fees apparently, just access to data so it could sell appropriate ads. Users could also get discount offers from shops they've used their NFC phones in.

"A phone is a lot smarter than a card," said Doug Bergeron, VeriFone's chief executive. "It opens the door to a rich experience at the point of sale that retailers really covet."

NFC features can currently be found in a wide range of handsets from the likes of Nokia, Samsung, Sagem and LG. The only Android handsets that currently offer the tech are the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Google Nexus S - although it is likely that many future handsets will be packing it.

NFC tech could also be hitting the next-generation iPhone if rumours ring true.



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