Google Wallet Now Live, But In Very Limited Availability

google-wallet-logoAs expected, Google has formally announced the first rollout of Google Wallet — the company’s first official entry into the growing mobile payments space.

But Wallet is only taking a baby step today. Google says the app is only being made available to Sprint Nexus S 4G phones, and users will be able to pay with a Citi Mastercard and/or a Google Prepaid Card (which can be funded via any credit card). As Greg Sterling pointed out earlier today, today’s Google Wallet launch is largely symbolic due to its extremely limited availability.

In its announcement, Google says it’s working with the other major credit card providers:

We appreciate Citi and MasterCard for being our launch partners. And today, Visa, Discover and American Express have made available their NFC specifications that could enable their cards to be added to future versions of Google Wallet.

Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets.

Google Wallet uses near-field communication (NFC), a wireless technology that sends data between two objects when they’re in very close proximity of each other.

Owners of the Nexus S 4G on Sprint’s network will get the Google Wallet app automatically as part of a software update. Google is giving early adopters a $10 bonus on the Google Prepaid Card if it’s activated by the end of the year.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile | Google: Wallet | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Jill Whalen

    Wonder why it’s only on the Sprint network. I have Nexus S but on ATT, so I guess I’m still out for now.

  • S.I.

    Being able to analyze where the someone spends their money is really the end game for Google. It’s nice to know what people are looking for, but where they end their search is vital information and will really improve Googles tracking quality. Which on the other hand may get plenty of push back from users.

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