Mobile retail is slowly gaining momentum and has the potential to significantly alter the financial industry.

The last two months have offered a number of promising announcements, predictions, and products in the mobile retail space.  Here are a few related highlights:

Google's flagship Nexus S includes NFC as a central feature.  The tech is currently being tested in Portland, enhancing the functionality of  location service, Hot Pot.  According to rumor, Google's contactless payment and ad system is also in the works. The next iterations of iPhone and iPad will most likely include NFC chips.  Adding to the chatter is speculation that Apple may augment its iTunes store with a PayPal-like direct-to-bank payment system. Originally only for Android, Google's Shopper app can now be found on the iPhone.

Implications for these news-bits appear to be far reaching and signal the imminent arrival of the age of swipe-to-pay.  This week's launch of Google's Shopper for iPhone also suggests that there will be a schism, with each company (and others) striving to establish separate dominance over real-world transaction and mobile web commerce. Each company has a strength that is difficult to contend with: Goggles, search, iTunes/App Store.  We'll see how this shakes out.

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