Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Google Unveils its Mobile Wallet, Sprint is First Carrier to Support

Google, in partnership with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, unveiled its mobile payment system.

Google Wallet is a mobile app that uses near field communication (NFC) on the phone. At launch, Google Wallet will be compatible only with Google's own Nexus S 4G, which is available in the U.S. exclusively on Sprint's network. Payments are enabled by either Citi MasterCard or a Google Prepaid Card. Merchants will need the MasterCard PayPass system to collect the NFC payments.

Payment card credentials are stored in an encrypted format on a "Secure Element" chip on the mobile phone. This chip is different than the memory which is accessible by the Android operating system. The user will need to enter a PIN whenever making a payment to the contactless reader.

Sprint is supporting Google Wallet, although the carrier said it is working with others in the mobile payment ecosystem as well.


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