First Google was after search engine domination, then world domination, and now? YOUR WALLET! But they’re not going to steal it — trust me, they don’t need the money. They want to replace it.
If the Google Wallet takes off, designers might take a hit on their wallet sales as wallets become digital and move to cellphones. Google’s new virtual wallet currently runs on solely the Sprint’s Nexus S, which runs on Android! The Nexus S got lucky being the Google Wallet poster child by being one of the few cellphones that runs a near-field communications chip (NFC). Google has ambitious plans to market the virtual-wallet app on all Android phones once the NFC chip becomes more readily used, and they are currently in development talks with all Android phone makers to make it happen, soon.
Using the phone-turned-wallet is as easy as swiping a debit card. Simply turn on your phone, swipe it in any PayPass terminal and enter your four-digit password. The upside of using the wallet: you don’t have to fire up the app, it will work even when turned off. Downside: it won’t work when your phone is off, as a security feature, so if your battery dies your S.O.L.
In order to have the app use plausible immediately Google teamed up with MasterCard, a company that already has NFC chip readers operational in their PayPass terminals at 150,000+ retail companies (that is companies, not locations) in the U.S alone and another 230,000+ internationally. Google Wallet users can even use their cell to pay for taxicabs while on the go in NYC.
There is one drawback though — it only currently works with one cellphone and one type of credit card, the Citibank MasterCard. Google is of course planning for more but has not released their release schedule as of yet.
If you are truly hellbent on using the service, or are broke and could use 10 free dollars, and already have a Nexus S but don’t have a Citibank MasterCard you can use a Google-based pre-paid card that you can top up with another card (it comes with $10 preloaded onto the card, a gift from Google to early adopters).