After months of rumors and speculation, Google has finally revealed details of its NFC mobile payments system. Dubbed Google Wallet, the application represents a partnership between Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint and will allow Nexus S users (support for additional handsets to come later) to pay for goods as well as store credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards.
Google’s aim is to create a ‘SingleTap’ experience that allows users to pay (with credit or gift card), redeem coupons and promotions, and earn loyalty points with a single tap of their phone. Retailers already signed on to become SingleTap partners are American Eagle Outfitters, Bloomingdale's, Champs Sports, The Container Store, Duane Reade, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy's, Noah's Bagels, Peet's Coffee & Tea, RadioShack, Subway, Toys'R'Us and Walgreens.
To start with, Google Wallet will support both Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you’ll be able to top up with almost any payment card. Customers can tap-to-pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points and will sync with your Google Offers (Google's own deal site), allowing you to either redeem via NFC or just show your barcode at check out time.
As previously reported, the program will be first trialed in New York and San Francisco, but will be expanded for a full release this summer.