Google Wallet takes a bow

Google Wallet takes a bowAs expected, Google has launched its NFC service Google Wallet, teaming up with various retail and financial partners to make mobile payments a reality.

The service will allow you to pay for things simply by giving your phone a tap against an NFC reader - or at least it will once Wallet makes it to the UK, as it's strictly US only for now.

Google is working with Mastercard, Subway, Macy's, Walgreens, Toys 'R Us, First Data, Citibank to get the service on its feet, with trials kicking off in New York and San Francisco.

The system effectively acts as an extension of your credit card, and uses the same PIN. It can be topped up either using a Mastercard, or a Google prepaid card, which is compatible with Visa and others.

To get around the relative lack of NFC-based mobile hardware, the plan is to introduce an NFC sticker that will give lesser mobiles NFC smarts without requiring an upgrade.

In conjunction with the Wallet service, Google has introduced Offers, a daily ping to your inbox of the latest hot deals and discounts. It's designed to work hand in hand with the Google Wallet, offering up dedicated deals and loyalty point schemes for the contactless payment system.

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