Google Wallet Gives New Meaning the Phrase "I'd Tap That"
According to both This Is My Next and Fast Company, Google is going to announce the launch of the NFC-based Google Wallet in a press conference later today. Launching later this summer, the service will allow anyone with an NFC device to pay for something by 'tapping' their phones to the terminal.
Google Wallet will apparently launch in the summer in cities like New York and San Francisco with a wider roll-out expected later in the year. Initially, there will be partnerships with retailers like American Eagle Outfitters, Macy's and Subway. It's a cross-section of companies that appeal to a very wide range of people, probably to ensure that anyone with an NFC-equipped phone will be able to try out this new payment method. On the carrier-side, it looks as though Sprint will be on board. Incidentally, Sprint is the only US carrier that is not part of the upcoming rival payment method, the Isis Wallet.
Besides the fact that it seems to be pre-requisite to name your product 'wallet', NFC-based systems have and will be tested by many parties very soon. Isis plans on being the universal middleman between merchants, banks, consumers and the wireless industry. But, considering that Google is launching their Wallet in the coming months, and the Isis Wallet isn't coming until next year sometime--and then only in a pilot program in Salt Lake City, Isis may hit the ground too far behind the pack to have a chance.
There are already a few competitors in the field including the like of Square and PayPal, but both of their solutions lack the clout and strategic partnerships with wireless carriers that Google and Isis already have. And, there's always the looming factor of what Apple will decide to do with NFC payments in their iPhone 5 release later this year.
What's certain is that all parties are looking to move away from card swiping and PIN entry. This is just the first major entry into the next generation of payments. Inevitably, the day will come when, while window shopping with our significant other, we'll point to an item we want and without even a hint of a smile, say, "I'd tap that."