It was no secret that Google had planned the launch of an NFC-based mobile payment system for today. And, well, here it is: Google Wallet (yes, that’s the service’s name) is now official.
The service (accessed via a free Android application) “stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone”, thus allowing you to tap your phone to pay for goods “wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted.”
Google Wallet is currently in testing and it should be released “soon” – Google hasn’t mentioned just how soon. It did indicate that the service will be out in the US, with potential expansion in other countries.
At launch, customers will only be able to use Citi MasterCard cards and the Google Prepaid Card. Sprint’s Nexus S 4G will be the only supported handset for the beginning, but more devices will be added later on. Apparently, Google Wallet will work on any phone as long as it has an NFC chip – not just on Android phones.
Google is really excited about the new service, implying it’s “the next big shift” in the way people pay. Of course, time will be the judge of that. Let’s wait to see this launched, used and liked by people, and then we’ll talk. Much more info on Google Wallet can be found here at Google.
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