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Google Wallet prepped for international launch

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 10:34:18

The Google Wallet service for compatible Android mobiles looks like it will be officially unveiled in the near future after a leaked document from within the search giant hints heavily at the arrival of the first Near Field Communications (NFC) functionality for smartphone owners.

An NFC chip is already stored onboard the Google Nexus S device, but its potential has yet to be fully exploited, which is precisely what Google Wallet is expected to do when it is shown off this week.

It looks like the Google Wallet NFC service will be going live in the US at some point in the middle of the year and the memo acquired by ThisIsMyNext, suggests that at least one major retailer is already signed up to offer payments via mobiles as soon as it is live.

A number of other brands including American Eagle and Macy's are thought to be on board, although official details as to just which US chains will get NFC functionality, have yet to be announced.

It is expected that NFC apps will flood the Android Market just as soon as Google Wallet hits the street. NFC has been generating real interest in the mainstream media because retailers, mobile manufacturers and network providers are all rallying to promote it ahead of its international roll-out.

NFC will allow users to make small payments up to the value of £15, so that they can buy products and services when they are out and about, without having to reach for their cash card or wallet. Concerns about security have been voiced but most seem positive that this will catch on and work in favour of consumers.

Google may well give details about the UK and European launch of Google Wallet this week, but for now it is expected to be a US-only service.




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