updated 02:05 pm EDT, Fri September 7, 2007
Google gpay, gbuy
An older patent filed by Google, now finally published, points towards the company's deeper involvement in the cellphone industry. Originally submitted in February of 2006, the patent documents concepts called "gpay" and "gbuy," which would allow phone owners to pay via SMS messaging. A given example has a customer at a farmer's market, sending a payment offer to a vendor; he specifies the vendor's ID, and the amount to be sent. To receive the payment, the vendor must be registered with an online service, where he can also confirm that the payment has been made.
NewsFactor writes that the service would allow other features as well, such as advanced financial management for vendors, including the ability to hold multiple accounts for different business purposes. Other options could involve escrow -- withholding payment until a service is delivered -- or ordering from vending machines, something already possible in east Asia.
Google has long been rumored to be working on its own cellphone, but to date the company has focused simply on integrating existing services, such as Google Maps. More recently, the company has been identified as wanting to build a Linux-based OS to compete with offerings from Nokia and Microsoft.