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Google Wallet Goes Live

by Emily Price | September 20, 2011September 20, 2011 9:02 am PDT

After being officially announced in May, Google Wallet officially went live yesterday. The service is gradually rolling out to Sprint Nexus S 4G handsets and allows users to tap and pay with their mobile phones using near-field communication (NFC) technology rather than traditional plastic cards.

With the service, for instance, you could order a sandwich at your local deli, and tap your phone on the PayPass-equip card reader to make a payment rather than fish through your wallet looking for cash or your cards. The service initially is only working with Citi MasterCards and a Google prepaid card; however, you can add cash to the prepaid card using any of the plastic you currently have hanging out in your back pocket, including Visa debit cards issued by your bank.

Visa, Discover, and American Express made their NFC specifications available yesterday, so it’s possible we’ll see them added to Google Wallet in the future.

In order to use the wallet service now you’ll need a Sprint Nexus S 4G handset, and have downloaded a special update that adds the service to the phone. Updates are being gradually rolled out over-the-air starting yesterday.

What do you think about mobile payments? Can you see yourself using your phone to pay in the future?

Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...