Google Wallet Deploys the Leather One

The visionary Google has presented the Google wallet: an app that turns a smartphone into a wallet. Announced in May, now it will be available for all Sprint Nexus 4G phone users.

Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired

Google Wallet makes the traditional billfold unnecessary, allowing users to keep digital versions of credit cards on their smartphones.

With the Wallet app you can pay at physical point-of-sale machines. The procedure is the following: you open the app on the phone, enter the pin and apply the phone to the reader on the counter. Due to a Near-Field Communication chip money is transferred from your bank account to pay at the shop.

Google is working hard on the NFC technology development and says that the launch of the Wallet is only a start. A bit later the corporation will introduce the same apps for Visa, Discover and American Express as they have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.

At the moment the Wallet only supports MasterCards issued by Citibank. But Google stocked the Wallet with a prepaid card which can be loaded up with cash from users other credit cards. The service is safe as you can set a set amount of time—from one minute to two hours—you have to re-enter your PIN to use Wallet.

The technology currently works with MasterCard’s PayPass network — a system that launched in the early aughts but failed to reach critical mass — which is already deployed in over 140,000 locations. Still, that’s a drop in the global retail bucket, says Wired.

Another hindrance for the new feature to continue developing is training thousands of retail employees how to use the thing. But Google that can’t stop but introduce innovations continues to work on it.