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Google Reveals the Google Wallet

May 26, 2011, New York, NY

Google has introduced the Google Wallet; a free Android application that turns a smartphone into an electronic wallet. The Google Wallet stores virtual versions of existing plastic credit cards. With their phones, customers will be able to pay at stores that accept the system, but also redeem coupons and get special offers. Text2Pay and Goggle Wallet both offer an efficient mobile payments system; Text2Pay enables customers to pay for goods online using their cell phone, with the purchase coming off their phone bill, whilst Google Wallet allows customers to wave their phone over the terminal at the store’s cashier which will then in turn, charges their virtual card.

“Today, we’ve joined with leaders in the industry to build the next generation of mobile commerce,” said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president, commerce and payments, Google. “With Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint we’re building an open commerce ecosystem that for the first time will make it possible for you to pay with an NFC wallet and redeem consumer promotions all in one tap, while shopping offline.”

“You’ll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk… Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet,” Rob von Behren and Jonathan Wall, Founding Engineers on Google Wallet, announced.

Google Wallet will start off working with Android-based Nexus S 4G smartphone from Sprint, the third-largest US wireless provider. These smartphones have a NFC chip inside which, when placed in two devices, allows a small amount of data be transferred over a very short distance.  Google Wallet supports a prepaid card funded from any credit card and already works with the Mastercard Paypass system, meaning users will be able to pay by phone in about 120,000 locations in the US and 300,000 worldwide.

With the wallet, Google has introduced Google Offers, a daily deals service that will be delivered to customers in an email or to their phone. Like the payment system, to redeem these coupons a customer can show the cashier at a store or tap their phone to pay.

Although Google Wallet won’t be out officially until the US summer, there will be some local trials in San Francisco and New York City before expanding to more cities. Macy’s, Subway, Walgreens, Toys ‘R’ Us, Bloomingdale’s, Guess and Noah’s Bagels will be the first participating retailers.

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