Expected to be released later this year, Google has teamed with Mastercard and Citigroup to build a near field communication (NFC) mobile system on their Android OS that will allow consumers to use their smartphones as credit cards. People with Citigroup credit or debit cards would simply need to download an app on their Android phones and authorize their smartphone to communicate with their bank. Google’s position in the ecosystem appears to be centered around enabling retailers to target their customers more effectively by selling ad space and the opportunity to pitch discounted offers to people near their stores.
This move by Google and co. is an extension of the recent success that Starbucks has enjoyed with their NFC-enabled payment application, and with the proper privacy considerations should be a big hit with retailers and consumers, alike. The biggest question on the table is with the notion of “targeting” offers. What are the criteria available to assure the offers are relevant? Will it be made up of purchase history, internet browsing history, surveys, or all of the above? What’s your take on all of this? Would you use this technology or does it seem too invasive? Send us your comments and reactions!