To do this, the company has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint. More banks and credit services look set to follow this lead.
The advertisement (see below) featuring Seinfeld’s hapless George Costanza gives the soft sell for the new technology: our wallets as they stand are unwieldy, chocked-full of receipts and cards.
How much better would it be if we had a virtual wallet, right there in our phones?
By launching now, Google has stolen a march on PayPal, which has revealed, but not yet launched its own virtual wallet.
From a user’s perspective, the app couldn’t be simpler: you tap your smart phone on a reader at a point of sale and the money is debited from your designated account.
For added security, users must also enter a PIN in the application to enable each payment.
How does it work?
The app employs something known as Near Field Communication (NFC), a wireless technology that transmits information between an “initiator” (your phone) and a “target” (the payment terminal).