Google is all set to announce a new mobile payments service later this week. The service will reportedly be offered initially through US carrier Sprint.
According to Bloomberg, "Google payments program will utilize near-field-communications-enabled (NFC) Android handsets. All Android handsets running the Gingerbread (or later) version of the operating system are NFC-capable."
Google has been testing NFC-based mobile payments at selected retail stores in New York and San Francisco according to previously published reports. (NFC can be used for a number of purposes beyond payments.)
The service will be initially available in five US cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. according to Bloomberg.
Mobile payments platforms and mobile wallets are in active stages of development or, in some cases, deployment by mobile operators, credit card issuers and others (e.g., Google) both in the US and internationally. Apple will deploy NFC-capable iPhones at some point in the future (though reportedly not in iPhone 4S/5).