The Wall Street Journal reports Google is partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup to deliver a mobile-payment service to Android smartphones, allowing people with debit and credit cards from the two financial giants to turn on an app and pay for a purchase from their smartphones.
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Editor's Insight: The "electronic wallet" is moving closer to reality. The vending industry needs to position itself to take advantage of this change. There is a lot at stake here for the vending industry.
Just think about the possibility of being able to send messages to consumers' mobile phones alerting them to special offers at vending machines. For this to become possible, vending machines need to have contactless payment capability.
The cashless hardware providers already offer contactless payment in cashless card readers for vending machines.
For the vending industry to take advantage of this change in consumer buying habits, more machines need to be capable of accepting contactless payments.
Today's VendingMarketWatch includes a podcast interview with Bob Martin, product manager for vending at MEI, discussing payment options currently available to vending operators. Martin notes that contactless payments will become a major form of retail commerce. 03-28-11 Elliot Maras