Google Wallet unveiled; Merchants excited

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Google organized a “partner event” or as some called it “NFC event”, to announce Google Wallet and Google Offers.

The company invited “payment networks, carriers, and banks to join us in creating tomorrow’s shopping experience”. Partners already on board include: Citi, Mastercard, FirstData and Sprint as initial partners.

By 2014, approximately 50 percent of smartphones will have NFC built into them — that is over 150 million devices.

With the mobile wallet app, consumers will be able to add their existing credit cards (though only Mastercard is a partner right now of the major card companies) and also lock the wallet. There are multiple levels of security. There is the phone lock, a required Google pin, credit card information encryption, and your credit card number is never fully displayed.

Google Wallet will work with Mastercard Paypass, as of now. This means right now 300,000 merchants around the world and 120,000 in the U.S. are technically ready (though it’s not rolling out everywhere yet). It will initially work with “Gcard” a Google pre-paid card set up by Mastercard.

The initial trials will be in San Francisco and New York.

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