A wallet, yesterday. photo credit: The hills are alive
There are several reports that Google will be launching its “Virtual Wallet” mobile payments system on Android phones this week.
Both Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have quoted sources close to the project which suggest that the phones will use NFC technology to interact with specially equipped cash registers to make payments, redeem coupons and earn loyalty points.
Google have called a press conference in New York for 26th May. It’s reported that they will be working with retailers such as Macy’s and Subway in the initial trials, which will start in New York and San Francisco, and possibly elsewhere (as you can tell, details are currently sketchy but should become clear on Thursday).
If Google does roll this out as expected, it will have a significant headstart over Apple, the other big player likely to want to dominate NFC payments, who appears to have ruled out including NFC in the next version of the iPhone.
Whilst there are several trials in progress or soon to start, the “tipping point” for NFC will probably happen when one of these big brands really start to push it.
We’ll post more information when it comes available.
Update: According to SearchEngineLand, the trial will take place inÂ New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and will be offered through mobile phone company Sprint.