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Google and Android Team for Mobile Payments

Google has revealed its working with Citigroup and Mastercard, to design a mobile payment system for its Android handsets, according to reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal and technology were both still in the early stages, but cited sources as saying the system would let shoppers wave their handsets in front of a wireless reader at the checkout counter.

Increasing numbers of mobile phones have Near Field Communication facilities built in, which some retailers and card companies hope to exploit, despite some concerns over security.

According to the terms of the contract, Google would not be expected to take a slice of the payment, but would use the data from transactions to build up a better picture of a consumer's spending habits, which would prove invaluable to retail advertisers.

Sources claim the scheme would start with holders of Citigroup-issued debit and credit cards being able to use the service by activating a mobile payment application developed for one current handset. Software for other handsets could quickly be spun out in future.

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