What will Google announce at its scheduled press conference on Thursday May 26?
Bloomberg reports that the company plans to unveil a new mobile payment feature for Android handsets from Sprint. The project may allow a customer to pay for purchases or redeem offers by waving or tapping a mobile device on a specially equipped receiver.
Google has long been rumored to be working on a so-called "mobile wallet" plan for phones equipped with Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology.
Citing "three people familiar with the matter," Bloomberg writes,
Sprint said last month it was working with a variety of handset makers and technology companies on NFC payment systems. Google plans to introduce the service in five cities -- New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. - - three people said in March. [...] Google is using hardware and software from companies including VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY) and ViVOtech Inc. to run the service, two people said at the time.
In a separate report, a source told Reuters that Google has also partnered with MasterCard for its NFC project.
On Monday, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's mobile payment startup Square announced new products and features for both businesses and customers. Visa also recently announced its own digital wallet strategy, and several other cellphone makers and credit card companies are expected to follow suit.
Though Google, Sprint and MasterCard declined to comment, this would be the perfect time for each to throw their hat into the NFC ring.
What do you think?