Google announced on Monday September 19 the commercial launch of its mobile wallet based on NFC (near field communication). The product, introduced in May had originally only been limited to MasterCard transactions. However it was announced today that Google had reached deals with Visa, American Express, and Discover to add their cards to the wallet.
Users of the Nexus 4G smart phone on the Sprint Nextel network, with the help of an over-the-air update, can now use the Google Wallet to make purchases at any of the 144,00 US merchant locations that accept contactless payments. For the time being, the Google application can hold a MasterCard credit card issued by Citigroup as well as a Google prepaid card that can be loaded with funds from any other card. In order to entice early users, Google will load $10 into the Google prepaid card of anyone who activates the wallet by the end of the year.
NFC is a two-way, short-range communication protocol that lets users store payment and non-payment media on their phones in a secure chip. NFC allows consumers to make payments by waving their phones near a point of sale reader. It also allows phones to receive coupons and other promotional media from the readers .