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Google Officially Launches its Mobile Payment App Google Wallet
Google officially launched its mobile payment service Google Wallet on Monday. The service is initially rolling out only to Sprint Nexus S 4G customers who will receive over-the-air updates. For this initial launch, the search giant has partnered with Sprint, MasterCard, and Citibank.
“Sprint is thrilled to be the first U.S. carrier to offer Google Wallet,” Fared Adib, Vice President of Product Development at Sprint said in a statement. “Nexus S 4G is the first to receive new versions of Android software, and today’s upgrade puts the near-field communications, or NFC, chip in the phone to work so customers can have a secure virtual wallet on their phone.”
Google first announced its mobile payment app based on NFC technology back in May saying that it is designed with the goal to make it easier for the customers to pay for and save on products as well as to provide merchants with additional ways to offer their customers coupons and loyalty programs.
At the time being, Google Wallet enables only Citi MasterCard holders to pay using their credit cards. However, Google is also offering the Google Prepaid Card which can be funded with any credit card an app user has. Google said in a blog post that it will give a $10 free bonus to early adopters who set up a Google Prepaid Card in Google Wallet before the end of 2011.
The company said it is working with VISA, Discover, and American Express to add their credit cards to Google Wallet in the future.
Visa released a statement on Monday announcing it has licensed Google to use Visa’s PayWave NFC-based payment technology accepted at hundreds of thousands of retail locations across the world. Under the agreement, Visa account holders will be able to add their credit, debit and prepaid accounts to Google Wallet in the future, but the company did not specify the timeline.
“In the future, our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets,” Osama Bedier, vice president of payments at Google said in a statement.