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Google Announces Wallet: NFC Turns Phone Into Shopping Pal

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Google has done it — the search giant and Android purveyor has finally pulled the trigger on Near Field Communication (NFC). And it could change everything about modern consumer commerce.

The company has proudly unveiled Google Wallet, an NFC-equipped wireless mobile payment system that presents like the next-generation of credit card processing. Instead of those bits of plastic, the info is saved on your Android phone, so you can just tap and go at PayPass terminals. And that’s not all — you can affiliate a rewards membership inside the Wallet or save deals/coupons with it, so instead of fishing around in your pocket or purse, the phone “just knows.” In addition to Wallet, the company also introduced Google Offers, which is kind of like a Groupon killer, offering instant relevant deal and steals near your location.

Google is in testing mode right now, trying Wallet out in San Francisco and New York at partners like Macy’s, Subway, Walgreen’s, Toys R Us, Noah’s Bagels and others. At this point, it has partnered with Mastercard’s PayPass branch, Sprint and Citibank.

One of the big issues that can make or break this technology will be security. Google addressed those concerns, explaining that the Nexus S handsets that are first in line to be equipped with the new system comes with  hardware-level secure encryption chips. This prevents data from being “skimmed” when you’re just out on the street (with the chip shutting off when the phone is on standby), and users can lock the Wallet itself down when not active.

What do you think? Is this the future of shopping? Could you see yourself using a system like this? Let us know your take in the comments below.


Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...

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