Google announces Google Wallet, an open commerce NFC ecosystem

By on May 26, 2011, 1:00 PM

Google today announced and demoed Google Wallet, an app that turns your phone into your wallet. The company has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First Data, and Sprint to make it possible for you to tap, pay, and save using your phone with Near Field Communication (NFC).

Google says it is building an open commerce ecosystem, and will develop APIs to enable integration with numerous partners. Unfortunately, Google Wallet is only initially compatible with the Nexus S 4G on Sprint. The search giant does not have a release date for Google Wallet other than "soon."

Although we've known Google has been interested in NFC technology for a long time now, it was confirmed with the release of Android 2.3 (codenamed Gingerbread) late last year. Solid details around Google's mobile payment platform leaked two months ago, and now it's finally official.

Google Wallet is supposed to make it easier for consumers to pay for and save on the goods they want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to their customers. Oh, and Google also claims it bridges the gap between online and offline commerce.

At first, Google Wallet will only support Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you'll be able to fund with another payment card. This means you'll be able to tap your phone to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also sync your Google Offers, which you'll be able to redeem via NFC at participating SingleTap merchants, or by showing the barcode as you check out.

The mobile app will be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards, and gift cards, without the bulk or additional weight. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Google hopes the app will one day store things like boarding passes, tickets, ID, and keys.

Follow-up read: PayPal sues Google, former execs over Google Wallet




User Comments: 10

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Uvindu said:

I've heard that Google is not so reliable when it comes to security. If I am right about this, and more people around the world know about this, they may not want to use this service because they are in fear that their personal details and sensitive information might be put in risk. I am not really sure how secure Google is but I read somewhere on Techspot that its image is not so good.

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

It more secure than u think, and this will be reliable.

Lurker101 said:

With all of the privacy and personal information scares as of late, and Apple refusing to support it, NFC is having a very rough start-up.

yRaz yRaz said:

"The mobile app will be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards, and gift cards, without the bulk or additional weight. "

Credit and debit cards aren't easy enough to carry? I don't exactly like the idea of all of that stuff being on my phone. I'd be worried about someone using that information if my phone was lost or stolen. I also think that phones are easier to break than credit cards. I've never broken a credit card but I've broken plenty of phones.

Emil said:

marinkvasina said:

It more secure than u think, and this will be reliable.

And how could you possibly know this?

Guest said:

I don't trust Google, they just keep coming up with more ways to track you. Your entire life will be on Google's servers. Big Brother = Google.

aj_the_kidd said:

Call me old fashion but I'll stick with credit cards and debit cards.

Guest said:

And how could you possibly know this?

And how could you possibly know otherwise?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Guest said:

And how could you possibly know this?

And how could you possibly know otherwise?

Because when Exec A brought it up in a meeting to the team he said, 'hey, let's make the phone capable of paying for transactions at point of sale locations instead of credit cards.' and the next thing out of anyone's mouth would have been, 'How do you make it secure.' to which the first guy probably already had an answer.

We know because it's so obvious that people would have concerns that they'd make sure it was at least as reliable as a credit card. A card that you only need a number, expiration date, and 3 digit code to use. With this you'd at least also need to have possesion of the phone... AND if someone does get a hold of it, i'd bet you can disable all your accounts via a call to google, rather than calling each bank or card company separately.

Now... WHY i'd care to use an app over swiping a card, I have no idea. a card swipe is pretty convenient.

olibenu said:

aj_the_kidd said:

Call me old fashion but I'll stick with credit cards and debit cards.

you're not old fashioned. it is worse in the 3rd world countries

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