Google's initial partner in processing payments for Google Wallet is MasterCard. That means retailers will need to have a MasterCard PayPass terminal installed. Those are currently rare.
Google has indicated they are working on support for Visa, Discover & American Express cards as well.
If your MasterCard isn't issued by Citi, another partner, you will have to transfer funds to a Google Prepaid MasterCard to use them with Google Wallet. You can also transfer funds from non-MasterCard sources.
To find retailers who accept Google Wallet payments, you can use the tool on Google's website or PayPass locators from MasterCard on their website or in their Android app. You can also look for various logos on or around their card processing terminals.
Osama Bedier, vice president of Payments at Google, said:
The world is on the brink of the next big shift in payments, and today’s announcement demonstrates that we’re making real progress in attaining the vision we share with our partners for a new and innovative mobile payments platform. We believe this is just the beginning of a transformation that’s soon to come.
Watch the video for a demonstration:
As exciting as the potential for NFC may be, there are still some hurdles to overcome before it is likely to go mainstream.
Merchants, in particular, will have to buy into NFC technology, both figuratively and literally. New card processing terminals will have to be added to every cash register.
Smaller retailers, or those who primarily deal in low dollar, low margin purchases, will likely be reluctant to encourage customers to use NFC as long as it is tied to a credit card company. The transaction fees on such sales can be the difference betweeen making and losing money.
For now, Google Wallet seems more like a proof of concept experiment than a technology on the brink of taking the world by storm. But it's a good concept and something similar is bound to catch on eventually.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 20 Sep 2011 9:54