Google launches Wallet

Mobile payment is coming to the mass market thanks to Google, which has now announced the Google Wallet, an app that turns your mobile phone into a wallet using near field communications (NFC) technology.

The Wallet is launching with Google partners, Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data, and is initially available to Spring customers using the Google Nexus S 4G phones.

Google stated in its blog: “We’ve been testing [Google Wallet] extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over the air update; just look for the ‘Wallet’ app.”

Google Wallet enables users to pay with thier Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of the users’ existing plastic credit cards.

On the launch, Visa with Visa paywave, Discover and American Express added their support for the app, making their NFC specifications available to enable their cards to be added to future Wallet versions.

Early adopters of the new app are being given a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if they set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.