Google has now officially announced its NFC-based Google Wallet mobile payment service, complete with backing from a number of retail and financial partners.
Google Wallet is an Android app that makes your phone your wallet. It stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone. Simply tap your phone to pay and redeem offers using near field communication, or NFC.
Mobile payments and special offers are just the beginning for Google Wallet. It eventually sees everything from boarding passes to tickets to IDs (and even keys) being stored on your phone. Not surprisingly, all of this is US-only for the time being, but Google is apparently working on international expansion.
Google Wallet has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem. It will eventually hold many if not all of the cards you keep in your leather wallet today. And because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will be able to do more than a regular wallet ever could, like storing thousands of payment cards and Google Offers but without the bulk. Eventually your loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, even your keys will be seamlessly synced to your Google Wallet. And every offer and loyalty point will be redeemed automatically with a single tap via NFC.
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