This morning, the tech giant held a press event to present their newest innovative technology -- Google Wallet. Instead of relying on credit and debit cards to make purchases, users will be able to simply swipe their cell phones. The service will likely launch exclusively on Sprint's Nexus S 4G smartphone. PC Magazine has more:
The Internet giant appears to have thought of everything. This in-phone system will not only work with a select set of Citibank MasterCard credit cards, but with the use of the built-in, prepaid Google card, it'll let you add funds from virtually any credit card (but you'll use the Google Card to pay). Paying with an NFC-enabled phone (which Google optimistically says will account for 15% of the mobilephones on the market by the summer) is pretty much like paying with any of the tap-and-go credit cards and fobs you've used in the past.
In a (shameless) promo, Google tells us how their new technology will "change how people shop:"
The competition is fierce, so Google is pulling all the stops to get their new digital wallet operational as quickly as possible. Mobiledia adds:
Google is racing to get the service up and running, given the number of competitors cropping up. Mobile payment company Square already markets a free device that plugs into the iPhone head jack, charging merchants a mere 2.7 percent per transaction, compared to the normally exorbitant fees exacted from credit card companies.
Small businesses are embracing the technology because it does not require them to buy an expensive new credit card readers, or pay credit card companies at the end of the month.
And, click below to watch a more unbiased discussion about Google Wallet:
While this more convenient technology is certainly welcomed by many tech enthusiasts, others may have concerns about privacy. After all, the data being dealt with here is extremely personal (plus, there are financial ramifications should account information leak into the wrong hands).
In the past, social media and tech giants like Facebook and Google have faced scrutiny over their privacy policies. A few weeks back, we reported on an interesting story about Facebook hiring a PR firm to smear Google on this very issue. And today, Sen. Al Franken wrote to Google and Apple and asked for some clarification about app privacy.