Ingenico has confirmed that it is working with Google on the development of near-field communication services for retailers. The company CEO Philippe Lazare told the French news agency AFP that it was working with Google to help deliver coupons that could be delivered to customers while they're shopping in retail stores.The point-of-sale device manufacturer
"Google wants a system where, when you enter a shop or supermarket, for example, you receive a special offer on your phone," explains Lazare. At checkout, customers would be able to touch their phones to the Ingenico POS terminal, which would be able to read the coupon and adjust the bill accordingly.
Google first added NFC capabilities to the Android OS back in December, and there are a number of third-party Android apps available that take advantage of this functionality. But it's been Google's plans for NFC, specifically, that have caused the most interest, with rumors that the company is planning a mobile payments system that would utilize NFC to enable the transactions. In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google was teaming up with Mastercard and Citigroup to make this possible.
But for his part, Ingenico's Lazare says that Google has no plans to make a move into the payments space for now, but he adds that, "it will do one day or another." We've reached out to Google to clarify.
Whether or not Google tackles mobile payments per se, the ability to receive NFC-enabled coupons on your Android phone may constitute much of what many shoppers would want near field communications to do: buzz them when there are coupons they can take advantage of right as they walk into a particular store.