Google's Wallet technology is finally here. Yesterday Osama Bedier, Vice President of Payment at Google, announced in a blog post (opens in new tab) the arrival of Google Wallet to be launched on Sprint, working with Visa, American Express and Discover.
The mobile payment system set up by Google has been in the works for months, and it will be interesting to see Apple's response to this. Is it a coincidence that Google released the Wallet technology so near to the iPhone 5 launch? Could this be another weapon that Google will use to make its own Android powered smartphones stand out?
I don't think it's a coincidence that the first official Google Wallet application is compatible with Google's Nexus 4G. You can use it to store your Citi MasterCard or use a Google prepaid card. At the time of writing, we don't have knowledge of other smartphones that may be compatible with this initial Google Wallet application.
So how this much acclaimed NFC technology from Google work? The idea behind the Google Wallet technology is to transform your smartphone into your credit card, transferring the data by tapping the handset on a payment terminal in much the same way as the oyster card system used on London Transport. The application is secured by the code you'd otherwise use with your credit card.
It's interesting to note that Bedier referred to this as "just the start of Google Wallet", which means that the services will be further improved. "This is still just the beginning, and while we're excited about this first step, we look forward to bringing Google Wallet to more phones in the future," he added.