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Google mobile payment service ready to cha-ching

Google is ready to introduce a mobile payment service for Android phones that will allow users to pay for their purchases with a single swipe.

Google is ready to introduce a mobile payment service for Android phones that will let you pay for stuff with a single swipe, Bloomberg reports.

The mobile wallet is the result of a partnership between the Web giant, credit card company MasterCard and global bank CitiGroup, as reported by the Wall Street Journal in March.

Customers will be able to pay for goods by simply tapping a compatible handset -- such as the Google Nexus S -- on a payment reader. What makes it possible is a near-field communication (NFC) chip, which stores your credit card details inside your phone, allowing you not only to make purchases, but also to earn loyalty points, redeem coupons and receive special offers.

The service is expected to launch this Thursday in New York, San Francisco, and potentially other locations in the US, according to another report also on the WSJ. Rumours of Google's plans for the new system have been rumbling on since the company paid for the installation of thousands of NFC cash-register systems from Verifone at stores in... New York and San Francisco. Aha!

Contactless mobile payments were introduced in the UK last week with the launch of Quick Tap, a collaboration between Orange and Barclaycard that allows you to buy stuff with a compatible phone by waving waftily at a payment reader. There's no indication that Google's system will come to the UK any time soon, or whether it would work with these companies.

NFC lets you not only make payments but also play Angry Birds with other phone users or even lock and unlock a door with your phone.

Let us know what you think in the comments section below or on our Facebook wall. Would you want to pay for stuff with your phone or is it a case of putting too many eggs in one, er, handset?

Image credit: Reuters/Albert Gea