Google has launched Google Wallet, a mobile payments system, in partnership with MasterCard and Citigroup, Inc. The service utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that allows customers to wave or tap their phones at the checkout counter to pay for purchases.
NFC is a wireless technology that enables data transmission between two objects when they are brought within a few inches of each other. Smartphones enabled with NFC technology can exchange data with other NFC-enabled devices or read information from smart tags embedded in posters, stickers, and other products. Currently, the Nexus S 4G is the only phone capable of using the service.
With Google Wallet, customers can use their mobile phones to make purchases at participating retailers, track spending on their phones, and even receive targeted ads and discounts from merchants sent directly to their handsets. On the merchant side, VeriFone, which makes card readers and other POS equipment, will be involved in the project.