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Google Showcases NFC-Enabled Wallet Service

Google has upped the ante with the launch of Google Wallet, the app that finally brings together all the parts necessary for the search giant to build a mobile e-commerce empire, capable of rivalling its search counterpart in terms of revenue.

In a nutshell, users will be able to tap, pay and save using their mobile handset and near field communication (NFC); Google has yet to say when it will become widespread, it has only confirmed that it is field testing it at the moment and will release it "soon".

Google is tying Wallet with the payment process as well as providing the ability for merchants to offer vouchers, loyalty schemes and other innovative marketing services to their customers; from boarding passes to electronic keys, ID, gift cards and more.

The virtual wallet has enlisted the backing of stalwarts such as financial powerhouses Citigroup, Mastercard and First Data as well as US mobile phone network Sprint.

Google Wallet will also support a prepaid card which it says can be used to fund most payment cards worldwide. From the outset, the service will work with MasterCard's PayPass network of more than 311,000 merchants globally and just under 4000 in London alone (including Cafe Nero, Subway and McDonald's). Below is a video testimonial of some of Google's most well-known partners.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.