Bloomberg is reporting that people close to the situation say that Google and Sprint will announce a partnership to bring NFC transactions to Sprint users this year. There are limited details at this point but both Google and Sprint have been talking about rolling NFC services and this news seems to indicate they are close to an offering. Google has sent out invitations for a press event on May 26th so maybe more information will become available then.
According to Bloomberg, Google plans to introduce the mobile payment service in five cities – New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC. They are using technology from VeriFone and ViVOtech to run the service say the sources.
Update from Techcrunch:
“When asked about NFC and its potential, Tilenius said that the technology is an important opportunity for Android, telling the audience, “we’re making a big bet on it as a company. There is a lot of potential there.”
She added that there is a ton of activity around NFC in international markets, giving the example of a successful trial of the technology that Starbucks ran in London.
When Erick asked for confirmation of Google’s partnership with Citibank for its NFC platform, Tilenius declined to reveal any in-depth details but said it would be a partner announcement around mobile and local commerce.”
Update from NFC Times:
“Google is expected to announce the launch of its NFC mobile wallet and m-commerce applications with Citigroup and MasterCard Worldwide, which will provide the payment service for the project. Among other companies likely to be at the event are processor and trusted service manager First Data.
Stephanie Tilenius, vice president of commerce at Google, confirmed the pending announcement today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City. “We’re making a big bet on it as a company,” she said, speaking of NFC. “There is a lot of potential there.”
More updates from Techcrunch:
“ViVOtech’s PR people go on to note that they “worked closely” with Google and “has provided ViVOtech technologies to enrich Google upcoming ‘latest innovations’”
Okay then. There’s one partner. An NFC one. The others? Apparently Sprint (which carries the Nexus S) and we’re hearing perhaps Citibank for the money side of things (Erick asked Google about it on stage today — no comment). Tune in for more tomorrow.”