Google’s Mobile Payments Strategy Ready?

Google apparently is ready to articulate its mobile-payments strategy, and is reportedly going to unveil a service with Sprint and several major retailers, including Macy’s and Subway, on May 26, 2011.

The service will let consumers with Google’s Android operating system and near field communications (the Nexus S) pay for goods and redeem coupons with their handsets.

Sprint has said it was working with a variety of handset makers and technology companies on NFC payment systems. Google has said it plans to introduce the service in five cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Google does not appear to be banking on transaction fees as part of its revenue model. Instead, Google is looking at ways the service could boost its digital advertising business. The planned payment system would allow Google to offer retailers more data about their customers and help the retailers target ads and discount offers to mobile-device users near their stores.

Significantly, that makes Google a partner to the card issuers, Visa and MasterCard, not a competitor.

Google earlier had been said to be using hardware and software from companies including VeriFone Systems and ViVOtech as part of the service.

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