The future of commerce was unveiled today as Google, FirstData, Sprint, Citi, and MasterCard announced Google Wallet. Confirming many of the recent rumors, the service is rolling out across select markets later this summer (San Francisco, New York) on handsets that offer NFC (Nexus S 4G). How it works is simple and awesome. Users can tap their phone at a payment terminal and pull from a Citi Mastercard, loyalty cards, and take advantage of special offers all in one fell swoop. Don’t have a Citi MasterCard? Use the pre-paid GCard which can be refilled from any other credit card out there.
Starting out, companies like American Eagle, Subway, Macy’s, Toys R Us, and Walgreens are on board as Google SingleTap merchants. These are the types of places where one can pay, redeem offers, and earn loyalty credits with one swipe. The catch? This is all just a field test at this point and it may be a while before you see this come to your town.
Longer term, Wallet will be able to hold things like hotel keys, concert tickets, boarding passes, and more. Receipts, confirmations, and other items can be generated and sent back to the device, keeping your pockets and purses clutter free.
Make sure you go to the Google Wallet site and check things out. There’s plenty to read and learn as you wait for the service and app to come to your area.