With all the buzz being that Apple will bring NFC to the iPhone 5 with iWallet, we all pondered what a world would be like where we all paid for things just by waving our smartphones at a terminal. That future could well be a reality, but it’s not Apple that will be the first to market but rather its new arch rival – Google.
Google has announced its ‘Google Wallet’ venture, with partners ranging from MasterCard to Macy’s. Google Wallet is intended to replace all those credit and debit cards we carry around in our pockets and purses with one NFC equipped smartphone.
Trials for Google Wallet will begin immediately in both New York and San Francisco with a full roll out to the rest of the United States planned for the summer. Unfortunately the only handset to be compatible with Wallet initially will be the Google/Sprint Nexus S 4G but Google does promise more handsets will come online later. The search giant also confirms that any handset could theoretically join in the fun with the aid of an NFC sticker.
Payments will need to run through either a Citi MasterCard or Google Prepaid Card, so you’ll be needing at least one if you’re looking to use NFC to buy your footlong sub from Google Wallet partner, Subway.
NFC has been slow to catch on outside Japan, and many had hoped Apple would be the ones to help the technology take hold in the United States and Europe. Google will be hoping to establish itself in the market before Apple’s inevitable arrival.