Google Jumps Into Mobile Payments with ‘Google Wallet’ NFC Platform

Internet search giant Google is, as expected, jumping head first into the burgeoning business of mobile payments.

On Thursday, Google introduced the long awaited “Google Wallet” program.

The company revealed that its aim is to fuse the retail and mobile experience together in an effort to create “tomorrow’s best shopping experience.”

According to today’s formal announcement, the services created by Google will bring together coupons and discounts and payments simultaneously when people make purchases via their mobile device.

“Google Wallet combines offers and payments at the point of sale, makes it easy for partners and third-parties to create better consumer experiences, and drives brand new shopping experiences for everyone…Your phone will be your wallet. Just tap, pay and save,” said Google’s VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius.

The service will roll out this summer from Google and its partners – Mastercard, Citigroup, First Data and Sprint. Initially, however, the service will only be available in New York and San Francisco. A national launch will soon follow.

By 2014, 50% of smartphones will be NFC-enabled. That’s 150 million devices. For business, Google Wallet is an opportunity to offer faster and easier shopping with rewards points.

Initial participating retailers include Macy’s, Subway, American Eagle, Noahs Bagels, Container Store, Walgreens, and others. Google also noted that some 300,000 merchants are presently equipped to accommodate the Google Wallet program.