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Leaving your wallet at home will not be a problem anymore with the new application by Google. Google Wallet is an Android app, only available on the USA for Nexus S 4G and Sprint phones, which literally transforms your phone into a wallet. The application launched at the same time Visa, Discover and American Express announced that they will join Google´s project.
So far Google Wallet works with Citi MasterCard and the Google Prepaid Card. Moreover, Google wanted to thank people who are adopting this new method of payment before the end of the year by adding a $10 free bonus to the Google prepaid Card. From now on people will be able to pay with one action — simply tapping their phone on a reader.
Google Wallet uses the NFC technology (Near Field Communication) that allows simplified transactions, data exchange, and wireless connections between two devices with up to a 10-centimeter distance.
Thinking about the protection of the ecosystem, the Google team created this app to help the environment. Instead of having a bunch of plastic credit cards, people will just need their phone. But that’s not all — Google Wallet offers a lot of other advantages such us having your loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, even your keys attached to this app.
In addition, Google has created a web site, similar to the one that they created for Google Plus, where users can find tips and information about this new app. On this site, by typing in their zip code, people will also be able to look for the nearest location where they can use the new app.
Regarding privacy issues, Google won’t be able to know what customers have purchased. Google does record local transactions on the phone, but these transactions are only identified by amount and location and are only viewable to the users.
Web site pages such as eWeek.com have already speculated in chances of failure of the new app. The site listed about four reasons why Google Wallet won’t succeed: The lack of knowledge from the users, the possibility that iPhone 5 release a similar application, the limited phone availability and the risk that Google Wallet won’t be rapidly adopted in the market.
On the other hand, the believers think that Google Wallet is a brilliant idea and they wonder why NFC technology has taken so long to be adopted in the US, since it already exists in Asia.
Moreover, the biggest opportunity that people see its use in is for Google Offers. One of the bloggers on Mashable.com published that “Google Offers as an app is a nice way to browse for deals, specials and coupons. You can clip those offers digitally to Google Wallet and then show the coupons at merchants, whether they are NFC-enabled or not.”
Over time, Google plans on expanding support to more phones. Google Wallet’s challenge will be to distinguish itself in a growing market. Some of its users also think that this is just the beginning of what is sure to be a great technology succeeds in less than two years.