Feeds

Google opens digital Wallet on Nexus S phones

Tap-phone-to-pay tech goes live

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google and Sprint have officially unveiled Google Wallet, an Android "digital wallet" that enables payments with a smartphone in much the same way people use credit cards today.

Rather than swiping a credit card at the cash register, you tap your phone on a retailer's NFC (near-field communications) reader. The Wallet app can be PIN locked for extra security, requiring a code to be entered on the phone for each use.

The two companies announced that Google Wallet is rolling out to all Nexus S 4G Android phones, which include an NFC chip, and they said that "hundreds of thousands" of retailers are accepting payments via the application, including American Eagle Outfitters, Macy's, Foot Locker, and Subway.

The application is designed to store and use not only credit cards, but also coupons and "loyalty cards". As of today, it can store a MasterCard from Google partner CitiBank or a pre-paid MasterCard from Google itself, but other credit cards should be included later.

Though other outfits have announced similar NFC digital wallets, Google and Sprint are the first to actually release one. "Shipping Google Wallet to Sprint is a crucial first step in creating a new way for people to use their phones to make shopping faster and easier," read a canned statement from Google vice president of payments Osama Bedier, who recently joined the company from PayPal.

"The world is on the brink of the next big shift in payments, and today's announcement demonstrates that we're making real progress in attaining the vision we share with our partners for a new and innovative mobile payments platform. We believe this is just the beginning of a transformation that's soon to come."

A list of retailers that accept payments through the application can be found here. Or you can locate participating merchants through MasterCard "Paypass locator" Android app.

As Google's rolls out the application, eligible users of the Nexus S 4G will be prompted to download it. The Nexus S 4G is what Google calls a "pure Google experience phone," meaning the software is designed by Google and Google alone. Unlike the inaugural Nexus One, it is not available directly from Google. Running Android 2.3 "Gingerbread", it's available at Sprint stores or through the Sprint website.

In July, PayPal showed off an Android widget that lets transfer money between two Nexus S Android phones via NFC by tapping the two devices together.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt predicts that a third of all shops will be able to accept NFC payments by the end of next year, but presumably, this means shops in the US. He also claims that "fraud rates are so much lower" with NFC, but it depends on what you're comparing it to. An NFC chip does make it more difficult for the bad guys to "skim" credit card numbers, but the setup is likely less secure than the chip-and-PIN arrangement now used in Europe. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?