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Google Wallet launches on Sprint with Citi Mastercard

September 28, 2011

Google has launched their NFC-based Google Wallet payment solutionClick here to read the announcement post.

There are some very particular requirements to use this first public release including:

  • You must have a Nexus S 4G phone on the Sprint network
  • You must pay with a Citi MasterCard or Google Prepaid Card (the latter is fundable using other credit cards)

If you have just the right hardware, network, and a workable card, trying out Google Wallet should be fairly straightforward.  According to the announcement:

In May we announced Google Wallet—an app that makes your phone your wallet—with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC).

We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update—just look for the 'Wallet' app.

Google's announcement also mentions that Visa, Discover, and American Express have each made their NFC specifications available, hinting that this might enable support for their cards to be added to Google Wallet at some point in the future.  Of course, that support also might not be added, who knows until it's a done deal.

For more information on Google Wallet, you can read coverage from Wired and Mashable.  You can also watch Google's launch video embedded in the announcement (click here to watch on Youtube).

I've written a fair amount about mobile wallet competition over the last year. In my opinion, it's too early to call the ultimate winners and losers. But with Google Wallet, Google is clearly in the game with PayPal. It will be very interesting to see how Wallet plays out versus PayPal's all encompassing vision and solutions.

Who do you think has the advantage, if any, in the mobile wallet wars?  Please leave a comment on the complete post.

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