Google Wallet is Officially Here (Even If Most of You Can’t Take Advantage)


Rumors started over the weekend suggesting Google would launch Google Wallet, their mobile NFC-based payments system, today. Well, it’s Monday and those who like the snoop around the coffee shops in the morning have spotted logos for the service on vendors’ PoS system.

A Peets Coffee & Tee shop in San Francisco was equipped with the system, one GigaOM writer noticed. Google hasn’t yet made any formal announcement but you know we’ll be bringing you the latest coverage on that. And yes, the Nexus S is still the only NFC-equipped Android phone in America. If you don’t have that one, Google wallet won’t concern you for the time being.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I wonder if someone can make an add-on NFC reader via the microphone port, like Square has done with their credit card reader.

    1. I’m sure they can. I know when I was in college we had these payment stickers that we could peel off and put on the back of our phones or on the inside battery door of our phone or even student i.ds that we just swiped and paid for food, books etc. I’m sure someone out there is already thinking of this.

  2. “And yes, the Nexus S is still the only NFC-equipped phone in America.”

    Masterful rollout plan, Google. I smell success!

    1. And last we heard, only the Sprint variant would be supported. Google never said whether that’s at first or ever. I guess it’s good to start small and build, rather than over-promise and under-deliver. But most Nexus S owners are left wondering whether we even have the hardware needed to eventually support this. I really wish Google would be a bit more forthcoming with their plans (especially their international plans).

    2. I’d have thought more android OEMS would’ve jumped the nfc ship by now……….especially Samsung……..weird

      1. Samsung is coming out with a NFC enabled S2.
        Personally I wouldn’t buy a phone that doesn’t have it.

  3. Available now. Useful in maybe 5-10 years.

    1. hello grandpa or are you from past….

      1. No, I have to agree with him/her. It isn’t exactly like this is the first time someone has tried something somewhat similar. I seem to remember advertising for a little key fob payment based system ages and ages ago. I still haven’t seen it in action though. Most retailers in the US won’t bother upgrading their payment terminals unless they see something as becoming widely used. Consumers have no need to upgrade to NFC payment unless the places they go a lot have the terminals. (And then you still have to get the public to accept this new and bizarre technology which they will no doubt question the security of.)

        1. Disagree. I had Mobil SpeedPass on my keychain, all they had to do was wave it by the pump. That was at LEAST 7 years ago. Nobody has made a big enough commitment to it, probably because of the (lack of) security. Not sure the public trusts a blind NFC tag like SpeedPass, so it hasn’t proliferated like it could (should).

          1. Disagree with what? How often do you get to use that pass in the last 7 years? And that trust is exactly the thing I stated at the end of what I said.

        2. I’m not sure about the States but more and more places I go in Australia (Sydney) have PayPass terminals and so the Retailer themselves won’t need to upgrade their systems to anything new as it just piggybacks the mastercard system is that correct?
          Even though this isn’t out in Aus yet I am getting more and more upset the SGS2 here didn’t ship with nfc

          1. I’m thinking it is two separate systems. I could be wrong but I’d put odds on that I’m not. Here in the US, you’d be hard pressed to find a place that doesn’t rely solely on swiping of a magnetic strip.

    2. By that time there will be no currency, everything will be bought with cool points.

  4. I believe this is wrong. Samsung Galaxy S II US editions have NFC capability also.

    1. They do, but the Sprint Version does not (the only one to be released so far)

  5. Add NFC to the list of must haves on a next gen phone. Don’t let me down on the Prime Samsung!

  6. *hopes the next nexus releases soon*

    Im hoping for some more news today!

  7. Until I can download the app on my Nexus S (yes from Sprint) it is not official

  8. I realize this is an Android blog, but the Nexus S is no longer the only phone with NFC…the Blackberry Bold 9900/9930 does too

    1. Well, this specifically states the only NFC-equipped ANDROID phone is the Nexus S.

  9. I’m pumped, mainly because I just happen to be one of the few people who own a Nexus S 4G and already own a Citibank Mastercard PayPass card. I’ll definitely be trying this out when or if Google Wallet goes live today. Maybe I’ll post a hands on video or something for Phandroid if they want one?

  10. You should point out that’s this is only available to the Sprint Nexus S 4G owners …those of us with the unlocked T-Mobile Nexus S aren’t so privileged just yet :((

  11. I think Google Wallet is a pretty awesome step forward. That said, I don’t consider it to be revolutionary, more evolutionary. Why? Because it doesn’t address the biggest annoyance in retail / brick and mortar: the line.

    That said, Google Wallet does do a lot of things. It saves seconds on each transaction so that can aggregate to slightly quicker queue times. It accumulates information in a central place so you don’t need to dig for a specific payment card / specific rewards card. So all that is great! I just think it needs to go even further.

    I’m working on a mobile payment solution for restaurants that allows patrons to open, view and pay their tabs from their mobile phones – (TotalTab, I think the self-checkout option is where the future really is. Being able to do what you want and move on when you (the consumer) are ready.

    Still, I’ll gladly take Google Wallet over my CC any day in places where self-checkout isn’t yet feasible!

    If you are interested in reading more: I expand on this in my own blog post from a few months back when Google Wallet was first announced.

    Google Wallet: An Evolution, not a Revolution

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