Sprint, MasterCard, Citibank Partner Up For ‘Google Wallet’
A Google Partner Event in New York kicks off in a couple hours with all signs pointing to an announcement about a mobile payments platform that’ll let you tap your phone against a card reader to pay for an item, using technology that has been implemented in Japan for years. (Update 12:24 p.m.: Google just confirmed the launch of the sysetm.) But if the groundswell of rumors is to be believed, there’s not much left to announce:
Late Wednesday night This Is My Next unearthed an internal announcement from The Container Store, believed to be a launch partner for Google’s mobile payment platform, dubbed “Google Wallet”:
It sounds like Google has chosen some major “innovative” retailers to kickstart a mobile payment platform that lets customers tap their phones against a contact-less card reader to pay for an item. And it sounds like The Container Store will start using the readers on September 1.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Google will use the event to unveil a mobile payment platform on Sprint phones embedded with NFC chips. Customers with these NFC-supported phones, currently limited to Google’s Nexus S 4G (Sprint) and Nexus S (T-Mobile) in the U.S., will be able to tap their devices against an NFC-enabled card reader to make an instant payment. The program will launch in New York City and San Francisco before being rolled out nationwide.
Shortly afterwards the New York Times ran with a few more details, reporting that Google will launch the platform with MasterCard and Citibank, as previously rumored. The mobile payment system will work at the 124,000 retailers equipped with MasterCard’s PayPass terminals, and users will have to use a Citibank-issued MasterCard credit card number and virtual Google MasterCard prepaid card, the article said.
Some of Google’s launch partners are Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters and Subway, the NYT added.
And what about food trucks, laundromats, and your neighborhood cupcake shop? For now, Jack Dorsey’s Square is handling those.
So there you have it! There are still plenty of questions Google needs to answer, like security issues and basic mechanics, but in a couple hours we will finally hear details from the horse’s mouth. Stay tuned.