GPay - Cellphone based payment from Google
Hmm.... a very interesting patent application by Google showed up on the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday. No, I'm not that big a geek that I regularly troll the USPTO's site - I'm hopefully awaiting the award of several patents to Akimbo, so I checking it pretty regularly right now.
Anyhow, the patent application details a system through which Google offers mobile (phone) based payments a "GPay" service. Examples of payment scenarios given in the patent include paying for goods from a vending machine, as well as purchasing items directly from offline retailers. While the example used is a phone, it’s entirely feasible to apply the GPay Mobile payments system to a variety of platforms - and, probably in Google's best interest to assure that. Of course, all the rabid rumor mongers expecting a Gphone offering from Google will interpret this as a sure sign of a Gphone exclusive application, giving Google (or their carrier partners) a distinct advantage over other carriers in enabling mobile payments from a handset.
The application isn't new - you can use your cell phone to make payments for things like parking and event tickets sporadically around the U.S. today. Cell phone based payment has been utilized pretty significantly in Japan for three or four years now. But Google's payment details a better method - typical of Google in simplifying it and just doing it smartly, simply. Exciting stuff, I think.