Restaurants Line up to Test Google Wallet
At an event on May 26, Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint introduced and demonstrated the Google Wallet, a NFC application that enables consumers to pay for purchases and redeem promotions with their mobile phones. The companies also invited additional issuing banks, payment networks, mobile carriers, handset manufacturers, point of sale systems companies and merchants to join the initiative.
At commercial launch, Google Wallet will support payments with two payment solutions: a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard and a virtual Google Prepaid card. Most people who already have a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard can simply add it to Google Wallet over the air, using First Data’s trusted service manager service. Or, they can fund the Google Prepaid card with any payment card.
Google Wallet uses near field communication to make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.
Google Wallet is engineered to enable secure payments and goes beyond what’s possible with traditional wallets and cards. It will require an app-specific PIN and in the first release, all payment card credentials will be encrypted and stored on a chip (called the secure element) that is separate from the Android device memory and is only accessible by authorized programs.
Accepted in Stores Nationwide
Google Wallet is built to work with the fast growing MasterCard PayPass network—a merchant point of sale service that enables consumers to tap to pay. As a result, Google Wallet will immediately be accepted at more than 124,000 PayPass-enabled merchants nationally and more than 311,000 globally.
Google is also working with point of sale systems companies and top restaurant and retail brands to create a new SingleTap shopping experience. Consumers will be able to pay for an item using a credit card or gift card, redeem promotions and earn loyalty points—all with a single tap of their Google Wallet. Google is working with VeriFone, Hypercom, Ingenico, VIVOTech and others to develop these next generation point of sale systems. Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Jamba Juice, Noah’s Bagels, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Subway are participating in the new SingleTap experience along with American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomingdale’s, Champs Sports, The Container Store, Duane Reade, RadioShack, Foot Locker, Guess, Macy’s, Toys“R”Us and Walgreens.
The first Google Wallet field tests are focused in New York and San Francisco, where many retailers, Coca-Cola vending machines and even taxis are PayPass-enabled, including major outlets such as CVS, Jack in the Box, Sports Authority and Sunoco. First Data is actively recruiting thousands of new merchants in these areas and will soon expand those efforts to deploy more contactless merchant terminals across the country.
Saving Made Simple
Google has also been testing a variety of consumer deals that can range from a 20-percent discount on a new pair of boots discovered on a Google search advertisement; to a $5 off check-in offer received upon entering a store; to a “deal of the day” offering a $20 lunch for $10 at a local restaurant. Whenever you buy or save an offer, you will be able to automatically sync it to Google Wallet.
At most stores you will be able to use Google Wallet to show your offer at the register, where the cashier will either scan it or manually type it in. At participating Google SingleTap merchants, you will be able to pay and redeem an offer with one tap of your mobile device.
Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will eventually be able to do more than a regular wallet ever could—but without the bulk. Google Wallet will start with offers, loyalty and gift cards but some day items like receipts, boarding passes and tickets will all be seamlessly synced to your Google Wallet.
Open Commerce Ecosystem = Consumer Choice and Innovation
Google Wallet will work best if it’s an open commerce ecosystem so you will be able to carry all the credit cards, offers, loyalty and gift cards you choose—and eventually much more. To this end, Google Wallet will make it possible to integrate numerous types of partners, and Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint invite the banking community, mobile carriers, handset manufacturers, merchants and others to work with Google Wallet.
The first release of Google Wallet is expected to be released on the Nexus S 4G on the Sprint network. Additional devices with NFC capabilities will follow. Sign up to be notified about the release at google.com/wallet.
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