Google Looks to Phones that Double as Credit Cards to Improve Security

With our phones getting smarter and more feature-rich every day, the smartphone industry is looking towards new ways to integrate virtual use and physical use. Google, for example, is looking to create smartphones that would double as a credit card.

Google’s new project, Google Checkout, is the future of virtual/physical world integration. When you create an account with Google, you can link your credit card and use your phone as a method of payment at any online or real world store that also uses Google Checkout.

But why would anyone choose to use this service over a regular credit card or other form of payment?

Security.

Google hopes to change the standard practice of handing your credit card over to a stranger or swiping your card in the store’s sometimes poorly protected credit card machines. The proposed method starts with the merchant that would create an order on their system, which would be turned into a QR code that you scan with your Android phone. Once scanned, your phone shows exactly what you are being charged for, and lets you pay right through your Google account after you enter your PIN number. And all of this is done without the merchant or store ever having access to any of your financial information.

The idea sounds decent in theory, although Google has been criticized for lax user security in programs like Gmail. Also, the solution is limited because only Android users with Chrome can use the system. But it does show what is possible for the future and how it would reduce the risk of identity fraud.

(Via Read Write Web)

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