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Schmidt: Mobile money is a key part of Google’s strategy for 2011

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt has explained that mobile money is one of three key areas of focus for Google in 2011.

“As I think about Google’s strategic initiatives in 2011, I realize they’re all about mobile,” he explained. “We are at the point where, between the geolocation capability of the phone and the power of the phone’s browser platform, it is possible to deliver personalized information about where you are, what you could do there right now, and so forth — and to deliver such a service at scale.”

“But to realize that vision, Google needs to do some serious spade­work on three fronts,” he added. The three are the development of high speed LTE mobile networks, the development of inexpensive smartphones for the poorest parts of the world and mobile money.

“We must attend to the development of mobile money,” says Schmidt. “Phones, as we know, are used as banks in many poorer parts of the world — and modern technology means that their use as financial tools can go much further than that.”

In December, Google included support for NFC in the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and near field communication functionality is also included in the Nexus S smartphone. The company launched its first NFC marketing service in Portland, Oregon the same month.

The company is also expected to make a move into the NFC mobile payments market soon. Google has recently acquired NFC specialist Zetawire and is currently on the hunt for a ‘Technical Account Manager, Mobile Commerce‘ who will be involved in building partnerships with merchants, card issuers and POS solution providers.

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