Rumour Mill: Google Wallet primed for London Olympics trial

Google is planning to trial its NFC-based Wallet service in London during the 2012 Olympics, according to a report in the French newspaper Les Echos.

google wallet

Click here to watch Google's video on the launch of its Wallet offering.

The report, which did not cite its sources, said the UK will have the first trial of Google Wallet in Europe based around mobile payments and coupons. Google is already thought to be in discussions for the trial with a number of banks and retail partners, as well as the French smartcard reader manufacturer Ingenico.

While neither Google nor the London Olympic committee has commented on this rumour, the Wallet application remains a feature only available on Nexus S handsets offered by U.S. operator Sprint Nextel--something that will need attention and support from phone vendors and operators alike if the London trial is to go ahead.

Google's Wallet application has also been criticised by m-payment analyst Bob Egan of the Sepharim Group, who said that the platform is not open, contrary to the goals of Google's Android platform. Egan, as reported in Computerworld, said that Google and its m-payments semiconductor partner, NXP, have declined to release the API related to the secure element that Google is using in smartphones equipped with NFC.

For more:
- see this Les Echos article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)
- see this Computerworld article

Related Articles:
Telefónica preps NFC for European launch within months
NFC starts to take off in Europe, but challenges remain
Visa pushes UK operators to join London Olympics NFC payment scheme
FT Orange cool to Google Wallet, calls for m-commerce openness
Everything Everywhere, O2, Vodafone forge JV to fast-track m-commerce
Mobile operators demoted to dumb pipes by new UK payment platform

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