Google Wallet: Google Unleashes Mobile Phone Payment System For In-Person Use

Early adopters suffer the constant frustration of knowing that technology can support desired applications of same but smart, app-making people haven’t put it into practice yet. (Quit riding razor scooters around and get to work!)

For instance, credit card payments. Credit cards haven’t changed much in my lifetime, but now we all know that with a tap of a smartphone touchpad, we can pay for anything on Amazon. And yet you have to sit at the top of an angry Walmart queue to dig out your Visa or Mastercard every time you need bobby pins and Dr. Pepper, while a crowd of angry villagers gives you dirty looks and exhales passive-aggressively.

It looks like we’re one more step on the road to ditching the paper and plastic payment methods, with Google’s announcement that it’s introducing a new service called Google Wallet that will utilize smartphones and near field communication (NFC.) Not only will the service work as a payment method, it will also store and apply loyalty card discounts and coupons.

On the official Google Blog, the tech giant explains:

You’ll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet…

However, the post indicates the service will take a while to be available to everyone, everywhere:

At first, Google Wallet will support both Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you’ll be able to fund with almost any payment card. From the outset, you’ll be able to tap your phone to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also sync your Google Offers, which you’ll be able to redeem via NFC at participating SingleTap™ merchants, or by showing the barcode as you check out.

Google will only say Google Wallet will be available “soon.”