Google is planning on a wallet application for those using the Nexus S 4G phone on the Sprint network starting today. The experiment will allow users to tap and go using an application that will automatically pay for purchases on the user’s credit card. In addition, Google will be offering this free application that uses wireless technology, on select phones such as the Nexus S 4G, in the near future. The wireless technology that Google will employ is known as NFC, which stands for near-field communication.
What is intriguing about this idea is that smartphone users will be able to make purchases using their phone in lieu of a credit card. But before you start to jump up and down with excitement, only MasterCard is currently accepted and only where MasterCard PayPass is operational. Like many of Goggle’s products, this one seems to still be in the beta testing stages. Like many of you, my concern would be security and what would happen if I lost my phone.
On its FAQ pages, Google addresses these and other concerns. If you lose your phone, Google advises you to contact your credit card company immediately. It also states that the NFC technology only works when the transmitter and receiver are within a few inches of each other. This in theory should prevent someone from intercepting the transmission when you make a purchase. Or will it?
As with any new technology, there are going to be some growing pains. There are also going to be those who will be reluctant to try anything new. Of course you also have those — like me — who don’t own a smartphone and who are satisfied with just a plain old vanilla cell phone. However, if I had a smartphone, I would jump on the bandwagon and use Google Wallet in a heart-beat.
What about you? Is Google wallet in your future?
The Google Wallet Web site is here.