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Google Teams with MasterCard, Citigroup for NFC

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google will partner with MasterCard and Citigroup for a mobile payments endeavor that will see the search giant utilize Near Field Communication technology.

The partnerships would mean those with Citigroup debit and credit cards could use their smartphones to process mobile payments. Though Google isn’t expected to get a cut of the transaction fees, WSJ sources say the payment system would also involve Google selling targeted ads and discounts to retailers and merchants. Merchants could then send these deals and ads to mobile-devices in the area.

Joining Google, MasterCard and Citigroup is VeriFone, which will apparently be rolling out the contact-less readers that will enable customers to pay with a wave or tap of their phone. Many retailers already have the technology -- which also allow customers with ‘wave and pay’ credit cards embedded with NFC technology to pay for their purchases -- in place.

A couple of weeks ago Bloomberg cited sources that said Google would begin a mobile payments trial in San Francisco and NYC. The publication’s sources also mentioned VeriFone's involvement. Bloomberg’s story spoke of the possibility of incorporating store loyalty points and coupon subscriptions with the payment system.