Google is gearing up to launch its Google Wallet service, and has enlisted the help of a former TV icon to promote it. The clip above stars George Costanza, sidekick of Jerry Seinfeld on the popular show Seinfeld. In the clip George personifies the reason for having a Google Wallet in the first place, toting around a wallet literally chock full of cards and papers.
While it may someday be a replacement for your whole wallet, come launch time it looks like the service will only be supporting two types of payments, Citi MasterCard credit cards and a Google Prepaid card. The idea is that you would use one of these virtual cards at a merchant when you stop by to make a purchase rather than pulling out your traditional plastic card to do the deed. The prepaid card can be loaded up using any of the plastic you might currently have in your wallet, including Visa debit cards issued by your bank.
Execution-wise, the wallet uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to communicate with PayPass stations at merchants, so you’ll also not necessarily be able to use the service everywhere you might want to at launch. You’ll also have to be packing a NFC-equipped phone, which are currently few and far between.
There’s no denying that virtual payments are definitely on their way. While its certainly not the same thing, I currently have my Starbucks card info stored in my phone and love being able to hold up my handset at the store rather than fish around in my pretty ridiculously packed wallet to find my card. I love the concept of virtual cards, and I think Google is at least headed in the right direction with their idea on how to execute them.
What do you think about mobile wallets? Can you see yourself using cards stored on your phone?