Google Wallet goes live

Google yesterday launched its Google Wallet NFC mobile payment service in the US via an update to 4G handsets from carrier Sprint.
The service is initially offering access to Citi MasterCard payments, however other big-name credit card companies including Visa and American Express have also signed up. The additional firms have supplied their NFC specifications to Google, meaning payments will be enabled in the coming weeks.
Visa’s deal with Google means it will quickly roll out services in Europe once its US operation is up and running, European chief Peter Ayliffe says. "Mobile payments are reaching a tipping point in Europe: we believe that 2012 will be the year that new payment technologies such as mobile and contactless achieve mainstream consumer acceptance,” he notes.
The credit card firm will initially offer access to 150,000 contactless retail terminals across the region, and aims to have 30 million compatible credit cards in the market by the year end, Ayliffe says.
Google revealed it is also developing a contactless point-of-sale terminal, dubbed SingleTap, when it announced plans for the NFC service in May. However, despite those terminals and the clear backing from credit firms, the search giant will face competition in the market from major players including PayPal which have mobile payment ambitions of their own.