True to last night's rumblings, Google and Sprint have announced the launch of Google Wallet, a revolutionary new tap-to-pay service that allows customers to store credit card information and make payments from one app on their Android phone.

For now Google Wallet is only available to those with a Nexus S 4G and a Citi MasterCard. Google plans on adding support for various other card companies, and more Android devices with NFC capabilities are on the horizon.


A critical element to Wallet's success will be the presence of PayPass terminals capable of accepting payments via NFC. The terminals are not particularly widespread in the US at present, but if you're itching to try out Google's awesome new wireless payment system, you can find businesses with PayPass terminals using the Google Wallet webpage or by downloading MasterCard's PayPass Locator app (from the widget below).

One common concern among consumers surrounds the security of the Google Wallet app. Many have speculated whether information could be surreptitiously scanned, stolen, or transferred. According to Sprint's press release regarding Google Wallet, the answer is no. The app will require a Google Wallet PIN of the user's selection, which will need to be entered before any payment can be made. In this fashion, the app prevents unauthorized payments or information transfer.

While Wallet's launch may be extremely limited, I have no doubt that the service will prove to be a huge innovation, and I fully intend on factoring the presence of NFC capabilities into my next Android phone purchase.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

    Still haven't received the update. Any idea how to force the ota on my NS4G?

  • livelyppop

    I haven't gotten it yet either. I did dl the place finder and it works great. I have several stores right here around the neighborhood that is going to use it. I can't wait. I thought it was going to be in the Marketplace though not OTA. I wonder if all Sprint Nexus S 4G owners will get it or just a chosen few.

  • J

    Out of curiosity.... To use this... Do I just tap my phone against the card reader & enter my PIN code on it, like I do for debit card purchases, or will I have to unlock the phone, launch the app, enter the code into the app & then tap the phone?

    Cause if I have to go through all that just to pay for something... Wouldn't it just be easier/faster to get the card out of my wallet & swipe it?

    2nd question.... Will this work on any card reader that has the tap to scan function, or does it have to be a Google Wallet specific scanner? Cause I think we actually have a few of them around here, so as soon as I get a compatible phone.... It'll be awesome not having to wait years until the hardware gets set up around here (course by then, all the 1st gen bugs are usually worked out)

    • Mesmorino

      You will most likely have to a)unlock the phone, and b)enter a PIN at LEAST, otherwise a stolen phone automatically becomes an extremely serious liability.

      Tapping the phone to the card reader will/should launch the app, and then you enter a PIN to confirm payment.

      It's meant to replace your wallet not the existing security systems, so instead of having a bulky wallet with 3 or 4 cards in it (with their attendant PINs), you have one phone and a bunch of PINs.

      That way if your phone gets stolen or lost (and then found in a bar in California and appropriated by a dishonest miscreant and then sold to an even more reprehensible tech website/blog who then dismantles it), said miscreant will have to at least unlock your phone first and if they manage to do that, the most they'll have access to will be your contacts, messages, and pictures. And, well, music, and notes, and shopping lists and to-do lists, and emails, and blog posts.

      But not your money.

  • Samantha

    I'll just stick with my Vitaband. Does the same thing with no PIN required and since it's attached to my wrist at all times, I don't have to worry about leaving it in a bar in California...

  • Andrew – Des Moines

    Is it just me, or is the timing of the release of Wallet intriguing? AT&T's GSII with NFC was supposed to be released Sunday. Wallet would be much more interesting on the heels of that release.

  • Duffin

    Ah, well, screw those of us who bought the phone first, right? I bought the Nexus S on TMo the day it came out, yet we're still plagued by random reboots, capacitive button defects, and screen freezes. And Google also waits 9 months for that revolutionary NFC thing they put on the phone to actually DO ANYTHING. And when they do, they give it to a minuscule amount of customers to use on the smallest carrier? What?!

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

    I think it should be mentioned that NOBODY has received this update yet. :(

    • Mesmorino

      Ha, is it still an update if no one receives it?

  • livelyppop

    I found the update on the XDA website, it was a link to Sprint that had it and I downloaded and flashed it to my phone. Works like a champ