From the Official Google Blog, Google has announced the roll-out of Google Wallet to Sprint’s Nexus S 4G customers. Google Wallet allows you to use your phone’s NFC (near field communication) capabilities to pay at stores instead of having to pull out your wallet.
We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update—just look for the “Wallet” app.
Google Wallet enables you to pay with your Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards. As a thanks to early adopters, we’re adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.
When we announced Google Wallet, we pledged a commitment to an open commerce ecosystem. We appreciate Citi and MasterCard for being our launch partners. And today, Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.
With technology limitations (NFC phones aren’t that common yet) and restrictions to certain bank brand credit cards (or going through a prepaid card), the potential is a little cautious unless a slow adoption eventually makes it worthwhile. One might also be concerned that this is just allowing Google more information about your habits and where you shop. I suppose there is a need though…