Google have revealed a new NFC payment system that will allow smartphone users in the US to buy goods simply by touching their handsets against dedicated readers at 124,000 PayPass-enabled merchants in the States and more than 311,000 across the globe.
Partnering with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, the service will be called Google Wallet, which will allow you to pair multiple cards with the contactless payment system, as well as offering a pre-paid cash option and a loyalty scheme too.
“Today, we’ve joined with leaders in the industry to build the next generation of mobile commerce,” said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president, commerce and payments, Google. “With Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint we’re building an open commerce ecosystem that for the first time will make it possible for you to pay with an NFC wallet and redeem consumer promotions all in one tap, while shopping offline.
“At commercial launch, Google Wallet will support payments with two payment solutions: a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard and a virtual Google Prepaid card. Most people who already have a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard can simply add it to Google Wallet over the air, using First Data’s trusted service manager service.”
However, the new system has got PayPal rather hot and bothered, with a statement from Amanda Pires, senior director of PayPal global communications, revealing that the company feel ex-PayPal employees now at Google have unlawfully shared company secrets with the search giants. She said:
“We spend a lot of time and energy creating the things that make PayPal unique and a preferred way to pay for almost 100 million people around the world. We treat PayPal’s ‘secrets’ seriously, and take it personally when someone else doesn’t. So we made a decision today. We filed a lawsuit against Google and two former colleagues who now work there, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius.”
Google Wallet is set to launch in the summer. We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not PayPal’s actions will affect that.