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Tap to pay with Citi MasterCard or the Google Prepaid Card.
The NFC mobile payments service is still undergoing field testing, but will be available soon

Google announced its new near-field communications (NFC) mobile payment system, "Google Wallet," this afternoon in New York. 

NFC technology is a short-range wireless technology that allows mobile users to pay for everyday purchases at a register using their cell phones. This new technology, which eliminates the need for cash or credit cards, works by tapping the mobile device at a register. An NFC-enabled mobile device has a NFC chip that contains the users financial account information, and when the user taps the device, the chip interacts with the register and allows for payment.

Back in March of this year, Google decided to hop on the NFC mobile payment bandwagon as well. It announced that it was testing a mobile payment service in San Francisco and New York stores using special cash register systems designed by VeriFone Systems Inc. Google estimated that its mobile payments service would take about four months to complete.  

But only a little over two months later, Google has announced its NFC mobile payments service, "Google Wallet," and gave a demonstration of the new app today. 

Google has partnered with Sprint, Citi, MasterCard and First Data to introduce its new mobile wallet. The system will support Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card at first, which can be funded by most payment cards, and from there on out, users can use their mobile device to pay for purchases wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. 

Google Wallet allows users to store credit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and offers. When the device is used to make a purchase, the app automatically redeems offers and earns loyalty points for the user. Google Wallet will also sync a user’s Google Offers, which can be redeemed at participating SingleTap merchants via NFC or by presenting a barcode at checkout. 

"Google Wallet is a key part of our ongoing effort to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers," said The Official Google Blog. "It's aimed at making it easier for you to pay for and save on the goods you want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce."

Google Wallet will initially be compatible only with Sprint's Nexus S 4G by Google. But Google plans to apply compatibility to other phones in the future. 

Google Wallet is still undergoing field testing at the moment, but will be released soon, according to The Official Google Blog.

Many tech companies have incorporated NFC technology into their mobile devices, and are now negotiating deals with credit card companies to allow users to utilize the new technology to its maximum potential. For instance, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA joined forces with Discover Financial Services' national payment network to form Isis. Isis is also looking to embrace other credit card giants like Visa and MasterCard

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RE: Not excited
By MozeeToby on 5/26/2011 6:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
If this system is developed in at all a sane way it should be more secure than anything available today, including cash.

Must be disable-able: I don't want someone to build a scanner and be able to skim my account information from 3 ft away the way you can with RFID enabled cards. At a minimum it shouldn't be transmitting at all times (like passive RFID tags effectively do) but ideally the user should be able to explicitly enable and disable the system.

Must use a two factor identification: The details the chip transmits should be encrypted using a pseudo-random key that is generated every 60s, the store sends the encrypted information (which no the key because they run the same pseudo-random number generator with the same seed that the phone has) to the payment servers along with the amount to be charged and the servers respond back with only an 'accept' or 'deny'. This would eliminate one middle man completely from the data security picture as stores would no longer have access to your account details, decreasing the attack space from dozens or hundreds (every store you use your card at) to one (the payment servers).

Must be password protected on the phone: For all the obvious reasons, but it should be noted that more work should be put into the password protection than is put into the current systems. There have been studies that show that 90% of 'swipe' type passwords can be guessed by looking at smudges on the screen, that is simply not acceptable for financial transactions.

Must be remote wipe-able: Using the encryption system detailed above would mean that all that you would have to delete would be the seed for the pseudo-random number generator and the information would be inaccessible. When/if you get the phone back, you can log into the payment server and request a new seed, enter it in the phone and be good to go without even having to reenter your financial information.(which no the key because they run the same pseudo-random number generator with the same seed that the phone has).

RE: Not excited
By bodar on 5/26/2011 6:47:48 PM , Rating: 2
Good criteria. FYI, the NFC range is something like 4 cm.

RE: Not excited
By futrtrubl on 5/26/2011 9:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
People seem to be looking at this like it's new technology. It's been implemented in Japan already for such a long time that they have had more than enough time to iron out the kinks and plug the holes.

RE: Not excited
By Fritzr on 5/26/2011 9:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
We're not talking about DoComo or the other Japanese companies. This article is discussing the world leader in releasing insecure mass market 'secure' applications.

When it has been out for a few years after Google has announced that it is finished with post-Beta Beta testing, then I might consider it. I would also consider it if this was released to the international market by DoComo or one of the other major companies with a proven system.

For now I will keep the plastic card in my pocket along with the phone, as it is more widely accepted today.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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