After a long wait, Google has finally announced the launch of their highly anticipated mobile app, Google Wallet in collaboration with big names like MasterCard, First Data, Sprint and Citibank.
And just a few days after the launch, companies like Discover and American Express are knocking on Google’s door in the hope of being added to future versions of Google Wallet.
What is Google Wallet?
It’s a mobile app that makes your Smartphone even smarter as it can work now as your wallet. The app lets you store a virtual version of your existing plastic cards on your phone and you can pay for purchases by simply tapping your phone using the NFC technology (near-field communication).
Users can pay for their purchases, with their CitiMasterCard credit cards and Google Prepaid Cards, at all NFC enabled stores. Google Offers has been introduced to the app also and will send the user an “offer of the day” that they can take advantage of by paying with their Google Wallet. Users can also store offers on their mobile wallet, and will soon have the option of saving loyalty cards and gift cards as well.
The service only becomes active if you have an associated Google accounts. By entering in the pin provided by Google, users can sync their Google accounts with their credit cards.
Google Wallet is currently only available for US users on Nexus-S 4G phones on Sprint, but other mobile devices and carriers are expected to soon jump on board.
There are more details on Google Wallet in the video below.
To encourage Google Prepaid Card users to use Google Wallet, Google announced that they will be adding a $10 free bonus to the card if users set up their prepaid card in Google Wallet before the end of the year.
As with any new product or service there are some limitations. For Google Wallet, these include:
Not all retailers are on board – Google announced the main retailers as CVS, Footlocker and RadioShack, but there are still plenty of retailers that don’t have the NFC technology installed in their stores. Experts predict it will take up to 5 years for stores to implement the technology
Not all smartphones have the NFC technology – actually there are only a handful of devices which are NFC-enabled. Google is promising more devices with this technology in 2012
Have you used Google Wallet yet? If so we would love to hear your thoughts.