Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint announced today the ability to pay for purchases by tapping your cell phone. Payments will be made using Near Field Communication or NFC. This technology was also thought to come to the next iPhone, possibly the iPhone 5.
“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.”
At launch, Google Wallet will support payments in two different ways; first being a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard and a virtual Google Prepaid card. If you already have a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard you can simply add it to your Google Wallet. Users can also preload a Google Prepaid card to use as well. The service is still in a beta only mode and will launch to consumers sometime this summer.
The Google Wallet system is to work where ever the PayPass system already is. So early adopters will have access to 124,000 PayPass-enabled merchants nationally and more than 311,000 globally at first. Google also plans to work with other POS systems to create a new SingleTap shopping experience for consumers.
Using the Google Wallet will also help consumers save more money with Google Advertisements. The ads could save up to 20% or more savings when using a check-in at a local business, you just have to sync the deals with Google Wallet.
With this functionality being added to Google Android devices, you can only expect Apple to adopt it in the near future. With the rumor that it may be added to the iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 skies are looking brighter.