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Google Wallet

And just like that, Google Wallet has been made official, along with Google Offers. First up is Google Wallet, which will use near field communication tech to enable users of an Android app to make contactless payments at participating businesses. Google is partnering with MasterCard, Citi, First Data, and Sprint on the service and there will be several retailers on board from the start, including Macy's, American Eagle, Walgreens, and Subway. Google Wallet will use MasterCard's PayPass system and will initially support Citi MasterCards as well as a Google Prepaid Card that can be reloaded with any other type of card. It's not just credit cards that can be stored in your Wallet, though, as data on loyalty cards and gift cards can be stored, too.

Only Nexus S 4G owners will have access to Wallet out of the gate, but Google says that support for more devices will come "over time." Google Wallet is undergoing trials in San Francisco and New York, with a full launch coming later in the summer that'll include support from 20,000 retail merchants. You can find out more about Wallet right here.

Google Offers is, unsurprisingly, the company's answer to services like Groupon and LivingSocial. The service will give several different kinds of offers, including check-in offers, location-based offers, and offers in ads. Offers can also be found online and then saved to your Google Wallet for later use.

Although the idea of storing credit card info on a smartphone and using it to make contactless payments makes many folks a little nervous, Google promises that Wallet is extremely secure because it uses PIN numbers, won't display full credit card numbers, and uses something called a Secure Element to encrypt your data on your device. Overall, Google Wallet sounds like a pretty decent service so far for folks that are willing to use their phone to make mobile payments, although Google needs to get support for more devices and more carriers soon. Now that Google Wallet and Google Offers have been officially unveiled, what do you all think?

Via This is my next, Google Mobile Blog


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