A bit behind schedule, Google formally launched their anticipated Google Wallet to a limited audience yesterday. Although Google Wallet currently has limited availability, Google has such a strong and visible brand that it is placing mobile payments on the map.
In the simplest terms, Google Wallet is an application that turns your cell phone into your wallet. Google Wallet takes advantage of NFC (near field communication) to virtually store your credit card information on your phone and transfer it to compatible credit card readers simply by tapping the phone to the reader. The near field communication technology uses magnetic conduction between two loop antennas to transfer the information, usually at a distance of 4 centimeters or less.
Initially, only a limited amount of people will be able to use Google Wallet. The Sprint Nexus S is the only cell phone currently able to use Google Wallet and NFC, although NFC chips will come standard in future android models. You can also place a special sticker on your phone that allows it to use NFC.
For consumers, Google Wallet eliminates the need to carry around a bulky wallet and allows you to pay instantly. As for Google, the major incentive in creating Google Wallet is to be able to receive actionable data about online purchases for marketers. Do you think Google Wallet is a good idea? Or is this just a way for Google to obtain even more information about you?