Report: Amazon exploring mobile payments via NFC

A report says the online retailer is weighing whether to build a mobile payments and marketing service for smartphones.

Yet another company looks to be testing the waters of near-field communication for mobile payments.

This time it's, who in a report by Bloomberg today, is said to be exploring the possibility of enabling such a service for smartphones. The report cites sources who asked not to be named. The report goes on to say that Amazon will decide whether or not to pursue the project in the next three to five months.

Amazon already has a business division that enables mobile payments. But incorporating near-field communications, or NFC, chips would allow users to wave their phone over a terminal or price tag to either pay for an item or find a different size or color of the item on Amazon's own store.

If the online retailer does opt to go that route, they'll likely be joining some of the biggest names in tech. Google has already been selling a phone, the Nexus S, with NFC chips installed, and is reportedly testing a service in New York and San Francisco. Microsoft is also said to be planning to include NFC technology in a future phone with Windows Phone 7, and Apple has been rumored for almost a year to have something similar in the works.

Samsung and Visa have also said they'll be facilitating mobile payments via NFC on smartphones during the summer Olympics in London next year.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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