May 27 2011

Google Introduces Virtual Wallet

There’s a mental checklist you probably go through every morning on the way to work: keys, wallet, phone. Misplace one and it throws off your routine.

Well, Google is trying to make things easier for us with a new mobile application that turns your smartphone into a wallet. Google Wallet was unveiled yesterday as an Android system app that will allow you to wave your phone across scanners to complete transactions.

It’s the first step in what promises to be a congested and competitive field of development. Initially, the app will sync with MasterCard PayPass systems that are available in more than 135,000 stores and restaurants.

Google Wallet uses funds from MasterCards issued by Citibank as well as prepaid MasterCards from Google. So far, retailers Subway, Macy’s Walgreens and American Eagle Outfitters are the first to jump on board.

Google plans to make its money from participating retailers whose promotional offers will be shown to consumers while they shop using their smartphone.

And of course, the trail of innovation makes room for attorneys, too. Soon after Google unveiled its technology, PayPal filed a lawsuit in California alleging theft of intellectual property.

So what do you think? Are you ready for your smartphone to replace your Star Wars Velcro wallet?

posted by
Douglas Malan
Douglas Malan
Senior Writer

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