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Technology & Innovation

Google Releases Smartphone Wallet

Now that Google’s Wallet program is live, owners of Sprint’s Nexus S 4G and a Citi Mastercard will be able to process payments through Google with a tap of plastic on plastic.

What’s the Latest Development?

Using near-field communication (N.F.C.), Google Wallet users who have connected their Citi Mastercard to their Nexus S 4G phone will be able to pay for items by tapping their phone to a card reader at participating stores. “The release of Google Wallet is more a signal of intent than a real step into a payment processing arena that contains a number of competitors that haven’t yet tangled themselves with N.F.C., including Square and PayPal.” Google has promised to keep an open system that is not allied with any one credit card company. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Soon, carrying a wallet to transport cash and plastic cards will go the way of mens’ hats. Google wants its technology to be able replace every card you have in your wallet, not just your card from the bank: “Google Wallet will also replace loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, and ‘even your keys.’ Hopefully you don’t keep your own address in your phone, or if you do, you at least keep the screen locked.” The new technology will bring convenience to consumers and allow Google to better track its users’ consumption habits. 


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