As investors, who's best positioned to capitalize on this?
Google's Band of Wallet Brothers
It comes as no surprise that in advance of the launch, Google has already set up partnerships with some of the biggest players in the banking and retail sectors.
In addition to joining forces with Citigroup (NYSE: C), the company has asked retailers to help "usher in the next era of open solutions that add value for all players." Among the first on the list: Macy's (NYSE: M), American Eagle (NYSE: AEO), Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG), Subway and Toys R Us.
You can bet that this list will continue to grow, too.
However, two partners that have grabbed my attention are NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI) and Sprint (NYSE: S). Both are uniquely positioned to cash in on the NFC explosion.
~ NXP: Not only does NXP make the chip in Samsung's Nexus S phones, it also makes them secure. That's important because the NFC chip stores your credit card information locally. As Google pointed out, "Security was something we wanted to make sure was absolutely airtight."
~ Sprint:Sprint's involvement in Google's launch doesn't come as a shock. It was the first to carry an Android 4G device, the first to offer seamless Google Voice integration and the first to sell Google's latest NFC-enabled handset, the Nexus S 4G.
What's more, Sprint plans to "continually integrate (NFC) and work with our OEM partners… to make sure this technology works on all devices." So it should continue to reap the benefits of Google's NFC push.
We're Tracking the Next Generation Payment Process
Thanks for that, Justin.
There's no doubt that the payment landscape has evolved rapidly. In 1998, for example, 70% of consumers surveyed said they wouldn't buy items online. Today, 70% say they would.
And in the United States alone, e-commerce is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2013. We have our eyes firmly fixed on the next wave, with Near-Field Communication technology taking its first steps into the mainstream and mobile payments projected to hit over $630 billion in 2014.
Ahead of the tape,