Google have launched Google Wallet; its mobile payments system in the US.
In a blog post published on Monday, the company said it had been testing Google Wallet extensively and was launching it in collaboration with the operator Sprint, as well as partners Citi, MasterCard and First Data. With its near field communication (NFC) system, built into Android handsets, the revolutionary new technology will act as your payment card of the future, apparently.
Google have (sadly?) not announced any plans to bring Google Wallet to the UK. However, three of the nations’s four mobile network operators — Everything Everywhere, Telefonica and O2 — are setting up their own mobile payments platforms for the UK market.
It sounds like, and especially looks like, something out of Back to the Future. Marty McFly whizzing around on his skateboard, paying for burgers and fries by slapping his phone against readers, right? There is the argument that this will be safer than actually carrying around plastic. For one, if you haven’t used ‘Wallet’ for over 30 minutes (or have manually locked it) a password is required. Secondly, if the phone (or even just the screen) is off, then the transmitter chip cannot be powered and holds no data, essentially preventing hackers to come and access your ‘card’ details.
Amongst Google’s biggest problems will be getting these ‘readers’ everywhere, and sadly, until they are everywhere, it would appear your standard 3×2 piece of plastic you currently have isn’t going anywhere.
It’s a savvy idea and one Powwownow is sure will (eventually) make its way across the pond. As and when it does, will you buy in to it?
Read more about the Google Wallet here: http://www.google.com/wallet/