According to the Wall Street Journal, Google, MasterCard, and Citigroup are collaborating to bring mobile payments, via NFC, to Android smartphones. Citing anonymous sources, the publication writes that the new service would “allow holders of Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards to pay for purchases by activating a mobile-payment application developed for one current model and many coming models of Android phones.” The report also notes that users of the mobile payment service will be delivered “targeted ads or discount offers” — which will be sold by Google. Ed McLaughlin, Chief Emerging Payments Officer at MasterCard, provided BGR with the following statement:
We are aware of the speculation that appeared in the Wall Street Journal today concerning our role within mobile payments with Citi and Google. However, we do not comment on market rumor or speculation. What we can tell you is that we are pleased to see great interest in NFC technology – it is a very high priority at MasterCard – and we think that 2011 will be the year of mobile payments.
It is assumed that both MasterCard and Citigroup will profit from the venture by dividing the fees assessed to retailers for accepting credit payments. Google will generate revenue from the sale of the aforementioned, targeted adverts and coupons. The purported system is expected to be released sometime “this year.”