Search giant Google has acquired Toronto-based near field communication (NFC) specialist Zetawire.
The Canadian company offers a mobile payments solution for smartphones users.
According to The 451 Group, the start-up, which had not even hit the a revenue stage, was recently awarded a patent for mobile banking, advertising, identity management, credit card and mobile coupon transaction processing by the US Patent and Trademark office.
The acquisition will not only allow Google to incorporate mobile payments technology into its Android mobile operating system, but will also allow the company to regulate the use of the technology as the patent owner.
The patent awarded lets users pay for items using their smartphone instead of credit cards, a concept which is yet to take off in the US but is already big in Japan.
Zetawire, which was acquired by Google sometime in August, also owns the trademark to 'Walleto', a virtual wallet system.