Virtual Wallet from Google Soon
The latest service by the search giant will enable you use cards from Citi and MasterCard though your smartphone, and it would be extended to “thousands of merchants” in due course
- Thursday, August 18, 2011
- By CyberMedia News
Bangalore, India: It is promised to metamorphosise your phone into a wallet, a virtual one that is. Now, the official word is that Google's ambitious online payment project – Google Wallet – will be launched soon.
"Google Wallet is coming soon. When it launches, you'll be able to use Citi, MasterCard cards and the Google Prepaid Card. You’ll be able to tap to pay at hundreds of thousands of merchants," said an announcement from Google Wallet website.
An Android app, it is programmed to store virtual versions of payment cards on the phone. If you are inclined to use it, all you have to do is tap the phone on the reader at an outlet's counter and the money from your PayPal-powered account is debited the same way it would be from your credit/debit card.
According to Google, the service is designed for an open commerce ecosystem and in due course, loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets and even keys would be integrated to it.
The app employs Near Field Communication (NFC) technology – a short-range communication system that is enabled to transmit secure data within a range of about 1.6 inches.
According to analyst firm ABI Research’s 2010 study of Cellular-enabled Point of Sale (POS) Terminals, ATMs, and Vending Machines, 10 per cent of total POS terminal shipments included some form of contactless technology. The study has projected 85 per cent of terminals shipped worldwide to be contactless-enabled by 2016.
The test pilot of Google Wallet was launched this May to be rolled out in San Francisco and New York.
"At launch, Google Wallet will be compatible with (Samsung) Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint (in the U.S.). Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones," says the Google in its website.
Ultimately, the service will also extend to online discount offers and loyalty programmes, in order to enable every offer and loyalty point to be redeemed automatically with a single tap via NFC.
PayPal already has an NFC-enabled feature that is expected to hit the markets soon. Card and financial services major American Express has also launched the Serve digital payments platform to enable person-to-person payments over mobile phones, online or at merchants.
As of now, Google Wallet's partners include Guess, Subway, Sprint, Coca Cola, VeriFone and Macy's.
In a related development, the search giant's latest social networking website, Google+, will now let users access a variety of games and view updates about games that people's friends are playing.