Google Wallet launches for Sprint Nexus S 4G phones, enabling tap-and-pay transactions
Google is releasing the first version of its Google Wallet app to Sprint Nexus S 4G phones and offering a $10 free bonus to users who sign up before the end of the year.
Google Wallet was first announced in May and is the result of partnership between Google, Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. The app lets mobile consumers use their phones as a wallet via a near field communications chip embedded in phones enabling them to tap and pay for items in stores.
“Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets,” said Osama Bedier, vice president of payments for Google, in a post on the commerce blog for Google, Mountain View, CA.
“This is still just the beginning and while we’re excited about this first step, we look forward to bringing Google Wallet to more phones in the future,” he said. .
The Google Wallet app is being rolled out to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update.
Citi cardmembers can store offers on their mobile wallet, and will soon have the option of saving loyalty cards and gift cards.
The app lets user pay at participating retailers with a Citi MasterCard credit card or the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any existing credit cards.
Google is adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card to early adopters to set up the app before the end of the year.
“This new technology makes paying with a Citi MasterCard on your smart phone as easy as making phone calls and sending text messages,” said Paul Galant, CEO of global enterprise payments for Citi, New York, on the company’s blog.
“Bringing this exciting innovation to market with our collaborators is a significant step forward in making our vision for mobile payments a reality, and is the latest in a series of initiatives that further our drive to become the world’s digital bank,” he said.
Participating retailers at launch include Champs, CVS, Duane Reade, Foot Locker, Jack in the Box, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Radio Shack, Sports Authority and Sunoco. Others are expected to be added soon.
Google also said that because Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications, their cards could be added to future versions of Google Wallet.
Google Wallet is expected to be available on additional mobile devices in the near future.
“Sprint is thrilled to be the first U.S. carrier to offer Google Wallet,” said Fared Adib, vice president of product at Sprint, Overland Park, KS, in a statement from the company.
“Nexus S 4G is the first to receive new versions of Android software, and today’s upgrade puts the near-field communications, or NFC, chip in the phone to work so customers can have a secure virtual wallet on their phone. NFC capabilities on smartphones open the door to a new level of convenience and security,” he said.
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York