Google Wallet Officially Announced

Google Wallet has been officially announced today. The new service, which we have seen before, allows you to use your NFC equipped Android smartphone to pay for products. At the moment the launch is exclusive to the Sprint network in the US which means that any other variation of the Nexus S currently isn’t usable for now.

The reason for the smaller launch is probably because Google wants to be a little cautious with the launch. NFC technology on smartphones is relatively new which means that there could be some teething problems when it rolls out. Users are also going to be a little cautious as they don’t want to be caught out by a payment going through but not being recognised by the till system in store.

At the moment there are two methods of payment which includes Citi Mastercard and a pre-paid card by Google. Google will eventually open up to other providers such as Visa, Amex and Discover in the near future.

TechCrunch has been testing Google Wallet for the past week and has a full review about the service along with the reactions from staff who served them and a video of a payment being made in a drive through. Check out their review over here.

At the moment there is limited support for the Google Wallet payment system. The reason for this is that not all NFC ready pay-points actually work as it requires the receiver to be running the latest protocol. The problem of compatibility will be the main challenge for Google as they’ll need to get NFC readers in every shop location before they can officially kill the wallet. Expect this to happen in the coming years as stores slowly adopt the newer technology.

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