A few days ago, we told you that Google was most likely going to announce a mobile payment service using NFC. Today, that announcement is official, and it's called Google Wallet. Wallet is exactly what the name suggests: a payment service that aggregates all of your credit cards, coupons, loyalty cards, and more, into your Android phone. You can then not only use your phone to pay, but it will also enter your customer loyalty information automatically, as well as redeem any coupons that are loaded into your Wallet using NFC (near field communication).
Here are a few bullets about Wallet, how it works, and what to expect:
- This service is going to officially launch this summer, but a beta program is already underway in San Francisco and NYC.
- It will store your card information locally, but will not display it. It is protected by a PIN, and you will only have to enter the card information once (upon setup).
- The initial launch will only included Citi MasterCards and pre-paid Google Cards and will work at existing MasterCard PayPass locations.
- When Google Wallet isn't open/running or the screen is turned off, NFC is also turned off. There are various other security measures in place, as well - it is also tamper and laser resistant.
- This service will only be available on the Sprint Nexus S 4G at launch, with more devices and carriers coming onboard in the future.
Also announced today was Google Offers: a Groupon type service provided by Google. Offers will be tightly integrated into Wallet, and will be delivered through ads, search results, and check-ins. You can add deals directly to you Wallet, and they will be automatically redeemed during checkout.