French company Ingencio is working with Google to develop a sales coupon service which would deliver special offers to smartphone users via near field communications. The service, would send coupons to a user's phone as they shop and automatically deduct the coupon from a related purchase upon checkout. Initially, Payments would still be made the old fashioned way, by either cash, check or charge.
"Google wants a system where, when you enter a shop or supermarket, for example, you receive a special offer on your phone," said CEO Philippe Lazare.
According to Lazare, Google doesn't seem to have plans to process payments via NFC, however. But that could change as the technology evolves. Already, we've reported that Google is at work on mobile phone payment registers. But that technology is only in it's infancy, so Google is looking to diversify in NFC and focus on product offers and advertising in the interim.
Near Field Communications is a recent addition to the Android platform, which provides not only for advertising and coupons, but also payments to NFC supported registers. Google is already testing their system in New York and San Francisco, and is working with CitiGroup and Mastercard for an NFC payment system for later in 2011. Meantime, there are several NFC Apps available in the Android Marketplace. And with competitors like AT&T, Verizon, and others looking for their share of the NFC pie, it's only a matter of time before a cashless society is truly a reality.