Google's Eric Schmidt chose the Web 2.0 Summit in downtown San Francisco this week to show off the web giant's latest handset, running the upcoming version of Android codenamed Gingerbread.
Now, according to widespread reports, the handset was disguised but is believed to be the latest Nexus device which contains a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip which will turn the phone into a de facto credit card.
The touch and pay scenario is already beginning to flood some stores in the UK, as Barclaycard continues to roll out contactless payment cards to its customers which can be used for transactions of under £15.
But the integration of the technology into the mobile device presents an even greater opportunity for retailers to integrate their channels. Customers could browse for an item online via their handset, walk into a shop and swipe the device to pay for it, for example.
NFC has been spoken about for the past five years as one of the next big things in m-commerce, potentially the spur that enables the channel to thrive as its fixed web equivalent already has.
With Apple already investing heavily in the technology for its iPhone and Orange and Barclaycard set to roll out a contactless payment solution in the UK in the next month or so, 2011 could be the year when NFC truly begins to make an impact.
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