Credit cards, and increasingly, debit cards, are using RFID chips for tap-and-pay transactions more and more. So, is it any surprise that Google’s next phone will have such technology built into its handset?
The successor to the Nexus One phone, Nexus S, will have a chip for communication with debit terminals, said Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, and will boast better security than debit or credit cards. An online payment processing system will process transactions, he said, and also mentioned how useful such a product would be for the growing number of location-based apps that tell consumers where to find products and for how much.
"I have here an unannounced product that I carry around with me," Schmidt said while pulling a touch-screen smartphone from a jacket pocket during an on-stage chat at a Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
"You will be able to take these mobile devices that will be able to do commerce," he continued. "Essentially, bump for everything and eventually replace credit cards. In the industry it is referred to as tap-and-pay."
The near-field chips store personal data that can be transmitted to readers, say at a shop checkout stand, by tapping a handset on a pad.
Schmidt hid markings that might reveal which company made the mobile phone, and playfully stuck with referring to it only as an unannounced product.
A cryptic product debut (semi-debut?) from Google indeed. I can see how such phones with RFID chips would be useful, but do you really want to use your handset for purchases? Considering how flaky some Wi-Fi security is, and how Google has been loose with personal information in the past, how secure is this really?
Would you ever consider using a handset as a debit card? Why or why not? Let us know what you think in the comments section.