Google today announced Google Wallet, a service designed to basically make your smartphone double as your wallet. This is something we've heard is fairly common practice in Japan. However, it's been part of a very small test market in the US. Now it seems that Google is planning to push it into the mainstream.
Let's take a look at what Google announced about Google Wallet today.
1) Expect it this summer
Today, Google is already field testing the new service. By this summer, they will be launching the service to the public. It will eventually support multiple cards as well.
2) Limited to Mastercard…for now
Speaking of cards, right now it's limited to Mastercard. Again, that will change eventually, but that will all come with time. Perhaps after field testing, or as more credit card companies see potential benefits of this kind of service.
3) Does have a Prepaid Google Card
This can use money from a designated account and put it on your Google card. This could be similar to using a your credit card or perhaps closer to a debit card. We will have to see it in action to get a better idea of how it works in real-world use.
4) "More Secure than your wallet"
Google says that this is more secure than your wallet. Your card is encrypted and is never fully displayed. They also note that you must use a special pin number to use the card. As additional security, the card can be locked.
The Future of Payments in NFC?
We've written about NFC-based payments several times already. We are interested in the idea, and we want it to succeed, but we know that several companies will have to back it. We don't know who's ready to jump on board but we're sure the changes will come along.
Apple and NFC?
We've heard rumors of the iPhone 5 implementing NFC technology. None of it has been confirmed, but Apple has hired NFC experts. Then again, we've also heard that it's not happening, too. Still, we think there is a bright future for it. Credit card companies and retailers want us to spend money, after all.