Google Announces Major Push Into NFC Payments With Google Wallet


Google today unveiled its new Google Wallet initiative, a push into near field communications (NFC) that will allows users to make electronic payments with NFC-compatible hardware through the Google Wallet mobile app for Android.

Today in our New York City office, along with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, we gave a demo of Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. You'll be able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). We're field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon.

Google Wallet will be able to store users' credit card, loyalty card, and gift card information electronically, making it easy to access the payment and discount methods at compatible points-of-sale. The app will also coordinate with Google Offers, a new program allowing merchants to offer discounts redeemable through NFC or barcode scanning.

Initial support for Google Wallet NFC payments comes from MasterCard, which will accept payment at hundreds of thousands of existing PayPass terminals. Google is also rolling out its own virtual "Google Prepaid Card", which can be funded by any major credit card. Google Prepaid Card comes with an initial $10 sign-up bonus, and there will be no fees on transactions to top up the card until at least the end of 2011.

Hardware support for Google Wallet will appear on the Nexus S 4G phone running on Sprint's network, but other compatible handsets will be added over time.

Rumors have gone back and forth over whether Apple will be adding NFC capabilities to the next-generation iPhone, with the general feeling currently being that Apple will add NFC to future iPhone models, but not necessarily for the next generation expected to be introduced later this year.

Top Rated Comments

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123 months ago

....and there will be no fees on transactions to top up the card until at least the end of 2011.

Pay attention here. This is where you'll get pinched. Can you say convenience fee? Expect to see bank fees, credit card fees and carrier fees attached to these NFC purchases in the future. Everyone is going to want a piece of that pie!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago

Love it. Wallets, cash, credit cards, etc. are far past antiquated.


I think it is cool, but there are still some things that would keep me from using it all the time (Other than the fact that the retailers have to support it...)

One is your phone battery. I charge it pretty much every night, but sometimes I forget to plug it in and it dies on the second day. If I only had a an e-wallet I wouldn't be able to put gas in my car.

Add that to the fact that I still have to carry around my drivers license, business cards and a little cash I don't think my real wallet is going anywhere. Maybe just getting a little smaller.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago
Yeh, right!

I so can't wait to trust my money to the Mother of Perpetual Beta!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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123 months ago
Potential problems?

Don't really know how I feel about this. Yes, it will increase convenience, but it will also spawn a new kind of thief - one who puts an NFC receiver in his pocket, brushes up against your pocket with your cell phone in it, and steals your money without having to pickpocket you. A wireless robber.

Also, if you lose your phone like I often do, does that mean that people who pick it up can use it as a limitless credit card? Sounds scary.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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123 months ago
Sounds cool...but too Orwellian for me. Ill keep my wallet, thanks
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
123 months ago

A co-worker already had this happen with his credit card that has the built in chip- a number of his neighbors got their information stolen from a van that drove through the neighborhood at night and gathered data from cards (anyone have an American Express Blue), while people slept.

This is only going to make identity theft much much easier.

Stupid idea on behalf of Google and if Apple does it, same with them, unless they can absolutely positively guarantee all the information is secure and protected.

Complete and utter BS. :rolleyes:

You have to be within a inches of the card to read it.
Driving around with a van scanning cards is impossible.

And yes, I have an Amex Blue card with the chip.
Works great, but 99% of the time you have to physically touch the reader with the card to get it to take.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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