The hassle-free 'wave and pay' method of Near Field Communication edges closer to commercial penetration.

The advance of Near Field Communications (NFC) continued in force this week with the announcement that Google will test NFC electronic payments within the next four months. NFC makes use of short range wireless signal transmission to transfer data, and would make payments as easy as scanning your NFC device over a payment reader. What’s curious about Google’s announcement is that while NFC technology is currently on the market in some credit cards and dongles, it currently isn’t part and parcel of most smartphones–arguably the emblem of essential digital interaction. As Wired notes: So far Samsung’s Nexus S is the one phone in the United States that can take advantage of the technology. Analysts assume Apple will incorporate NFC in the next iPhone, and that generation would be available in June. Research in Motion isn’t expected to release any NFC-enabled Blackberries until the third quarter while Nokia has said that all its phones would include NFC this year. The timing of Google’s announcement in tandem with industry speculation all points to NFC becoming a much more prevalent means for customers to pay for goods.

Wired: “Report: Google to Test Mobile Payments This Spring in NY, SF”

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