Google announced this morning a new service that will take NFC to a whole new level – Google Wallet. With Google Wallet, the search giant intends to give you more reasons to leave your actual wallet at home. You’ll be able to make payments, use loyalty rewards programs and a whole lot more just by tapping or waving your phone near an NFC module if your phone is equipped with a near-field-communications chip, like the Samsung Nexus S.
Here’s what Google says on its blog:
Google Wallet is a key part of our ongoing effort to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers. It’s aimed at making it easier for you to pay for and save on the goods you want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce.
Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will do more than a regular wallet ever could. You’ll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet.
While it all sounds great and dandy, Google still has a long way to go in refining and improving its payment services. PayPal’s Anuj Nayar says, “Put simply – before you try mobile (or any other payments) solution, you need to be great at payments. There is so much more than just technology involved to get payments right. Above all (and this is something that many tech pundits simply forget), any new solution must deliver something better than the existing way to do it. Not just different…better.”
However, it seems like the search company is off to a good start with partnerships with Citi MasterCard, FirstData and Sprint. Google is also looking to develop APIs to help extend and build partnerships with other companies and services. Right now, Google Wallet will be available on the Nexus S 4G for Sprint.
For additional details, see the official Google blog link below.