Yesterday, Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint announced and demonstrated Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet so you can tap, pay and save money and time while you shop. For businesses, Google Wallet is an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships by offering a faster, easier shopping experience with relevant deals, promotions and loyalty rewards.
“We’ve joined with leaders in the industry to build the next generation of mobile commerce,” said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president, commerce and payments, Google. “With Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint we’re building an open commerce ecosystem that for the first time will make it possible for you to pay with an NFC wallet and redeem consumer promotions all in one tap, while shopping offline.”
Google Wallet is currently in a field test and will be available to consumers later this year. At the event, Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint introduced Google Wallet and invited additional issuing banks, payment networks, mobile carriers, handset manufacturers, point of sale systems companies and merchants to join the initiative.
Next step in mobile payments
At commercial launch, Google Wallet will support payments with two payment solutions: a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard and a virtual Google Prepaid card. Most people who already have a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard can simply add it to Google Wallet over the air, using First Data’s trusted service manager service. Or, they can fund the Google Prepaid card with any payment card.
Google Wallet uses near field communication (NFC) to make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout.
Google Wallet is engineered to enable secure payments and goes beyond what’s possible with traditional wallets and cards. It will require an app-specific PIN and in the first release, all payment card credentials will be encrypted and stored on a chip, called the secure element, which is separate from the Android device memory and is only accessible by authorized programs.
“Citi’s role as the lead bank in Google Wallet is the latest demonstration of how we are committed to becoming the world’s digital bank, providing to customers the tools they need to manage their everyday finances with convenience and value,” said Paul Galant, CEO, Citi Global Enterprise Payments. “Today’s announcement and our active collaboration with Google will be looked at as the inflection point for how mobile payments are evolving from concept to mass utilisation.”
Accepted in stores nationwide
Google Wallet is built to work with the fast growing MasterCard PayPass network — merchant point of sale service that enables consumers to tap to pay. As a result, Google Wallet will immediately be accepted at more than 124 000 PayPass-enabled merchants nationally and more than 311 000 globally.
Google is also working with point of sale systems companies and top retail brands to create a new SingleTap shopping experience. Consumers will be able to pay for an item using a credit card or gift card, redeem promotions and earn loyalty points — all with a single tap of their Google Wallet.
The first Google Wallet field tests are focused in New York and San Francisco, where many retailers, Coca-Cola vending machines and even taxis are PayPass-enabled, including major outlets such as CVS, Jack in the Box, Sports Authority and Sunoco. First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, is actively recruiting thousands of new merchants in these areas and will soon expand those efforts to deploy more contactless merchant terminals across the country.
Saving Made Simple
Google has also been testing a variety of consumer deals that can range from a 20-per cent discount on a new pair of boots discovered on a Google search advertisement; to a discount check-in offer received upon entering a store; to a “deal of the day” offering a saving at a local restaurant. Whenever you buy or save an offer, you will be able to automatically sync it to Google Wallet.
At most stores you will be able to use Google Wallet to show your offer at the register, where the cashier will either scan it or manually type it in. At participating Google SingleTap merchants, you will be able to pay and redeem an offer with one tap of your mobile device.
Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will eventually be able to do more than a regular wallet ever could — but without the bulk. Google Wallet will start with offers, loyalty and gift cards but some day items like receipts, boarding passes and tickets will all be seamlessly synced to your Google Wallet.
Open commerce ecosystem = consumer choice and innovation
Google Wallet will work best if it’s an open commerce ecosystem so you will be able to carry all the credit cards, offers, loyalty and gift cards you choose — and eventually much more. To this end, Google Wallet will make it possible to integrate numerous types of partners, and Google, Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint invite the banking community, mobile carriers, handset manufacturers, merchants and others to work with Google Wallet.
The first release of Google Wallet is expected to be released on the Nexus S 4G on the Sprint network. Additional devices with NFC capabilities will follow.
Sign up to be notified about the release at google.com/wallet