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November 21 2013

Pinterest Plans Your Travel and Other News You Need to Know

Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting storiesPinterest added a new location-based feature on Wednesday that uses Place Pins as a way to map out vacations and favorite areas. Southwest Airlines is providing Wi-Fi access from gate to gate for $8 per day through an onboard hotspot. And in an effort to ramp up its user base, Google Wallet is offering a debit card that can take out cash from your bank account as well as funds from your Wallet account. Read more...

More about Wi Fi, First To Know Series, Southwest Airlines, Google Wallet, and Pinterest

November 20 2013

Google Wallet Now Comes With a Debit Card

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Google’s payments solution known as Google Wallet will let people use debit cards connected to their accounts. It can be used like any normal debit card by withdrawing money from an ATM or purchasing items from a brick and mortar store

The debit card's seamless integration with Google Wallet allows access to the cash in your bank account and funds in your Wallet account sent by friends. This integration also includes notifications on your phone after spending money using the card

Google Card

According to a report in Businessweek earlier this year, the company has spent around $300 million on the development of Google Wallet, but so far the product has failed to gain the same popularity as some of the company’s other non-search-oriented products such as Gmail and YouTube. Read more...

More about Google, Google Wallet, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile

November 19 2013

Former Google Wallet Execs Raise $7 Million to Personalize Offline Retail

Jonathan Wall's first attempt to tackle the offline payment experience didn't go exactly as he had hoped.

Wall (above left) was one of two founding engineers behind Google Wallet, a mobile payment platform that launched in 2011 and promised to let users tap and pay for items in stores. Google Wallet initially struggled to gain widespread adoption due to the reluctance of carriers and businesses to embrace the NFC technology that Wallet depended on. For Wall, however, there was an even more basic problem: the Google Wallet team turned its focus to the wrong thing.

"There was kind of a tectonic shift even before we made it to market," Wall told Mashable in a recent interview. "There were a lot of PayPal folks that saw the payment itself as being the prize rather than the data... The opportunity we were hoping to pursue was the untapped potential of the data in the retailer's walls and using it to help the retailer." Read more...

More about Startups, Retail, Eric Schmidt, Google Wallet, and Business

September 17 2013

Google Wallet Update for Android Removes NFC Requirement

Google is pushing out a new version of its Google Wallet app for Android that will allow users to send money from their bank accounts to anyone in the United States.

The update, which will come this week for Android phones running version 2.3 "Gingerbread" and higher, is moving beyond NFC (near-field communications) technology, so more people will be able to access the platform. Previously, only those users with one of the 29 NFC-enabled mobile devices on the market were able to take advantage of Google's mobile payment system. The update also lets users access it from any mobile carrier

More about Google, Mobile, Nfc, Google Wallet, and Tech

May 15 2013

You Can Now Send Money Via Gmail

Google tacked another announcement onto a day full of them with an update to Google Wallet that lets you send money via Gmail.

As the video above explains there will be a dollar-sign icon for Gmail attachments. Click it and you can transfer cash via Google Wallet. The recipient doesn't have to have a Gmail address and you can receive money as well. You can also pay using your credit and debit cards for a fee of 2.9% per transaction (minimum $0.30.)

Google claims the transactions are encrypted and stored on secure servers. Transactions are also monitored to preempt fraudulent activity. Google Wallet Purchase Protection also covers 100% of "eligible unauthorized transactions." Read more...

More about Google, Mobile Payments, Google Wallet, Business, and Apps Software

May 11 2013

14 Ways to Accept Mobile Payments

Accepting mobile payments —whether by accepting credit cards in the field or by letting users pay on-site with smartphones —is a must for businesses of all types. Figuring out which mobile payment technology is right for your business can be a challenge.

Here are the pros and cons of 14 different mobile payment services to help you sort through your options for accepting mobile payments.


If you're looking for a no-frills approach to mobile credit card processing, then check out Square. With no monthly fees, no contracts and no merchant accounts, Square is a good solution for those who only occasionally need mobile payment processing. Read more...

More about Square, Mobile Payments, Paypal Mobile, Gopayment, and Google Wallet

August 18 2012

5 Ways to Pay for Dinner With Your Phone

mobile payments
Mobile payment transactions are predicted to reach $1.3 trillion per year by 2017, and the restaurant industry appears ripe to scarf down a hefty chunk of that money flying around electronically.

But while news about the mobile payments space has intensified lately -- Square's deal with Starbucks, Discover's nod to Google Wallet and Dunkin' Donuts's new gifting/payment app -- pay-by-phone services have yet to hit mainstream status as many consumers are still confused about their options.

To help clear confusion, here are five ways you may start paying for your next dinner with your phone.

Order Meals With Digital Delivery and Takeout Services

Food delivery apps and websites su…
Continue reading...

More About: Food, Google, Pay With Square, Payment Services, Seamless, Squar, TheLevelUp, dwolla, eccomerce, google wallet, grubhub, levelup, mobile apps, mobile payments, paypal, venmo

August 01 2012

Google Wallet Now Supports Most Major Credit Cards

Google on Wednesday released a cloud-based version of its Google Wallet app that now supports credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

The latest app allows users to shop both in stores and online, so a phone could be tapped to pay for a double shot macchiato at a cafe, a taxi ride or even make a purchase on the web.

Google Wallet was launched in 2011, replacing Google Checkout. It's an app that uses a short-range wireless technology called near-field communication (NFC) to let users pay for things by simply waving their phones in front of NFC-compatible terminals at merchants.

Google Wallet is now available on six phones on Sprint and Virgi…
Continue reading...

More About: Google, google wallet, mobile payments, nfc

February 11 2012

Revealed: Google Wallet Security Flaw on Android Phones [VIDEO]

Don’t give up your wallet and plastic cards just yet — at least, not until Google Wallet gets a security update.

The Android-only service, which lets you pay with your smartphone, turns out to have a major security flaw. If someone gets hold of your phone, they can effectively hit the reset button on Google Wallet — and get themselves sent a new PIN number.

The flaw, uncovered by TheSmartphoneChamp.com, wasn’t the first vulnerability uncovered in Google Wallet this week. Zvelo, a malicious software detection service, found that Google Wallet could be hacked and the owner’s pin number obtained using an app. But that hack required a phone to be rooted.

The video below shows just how easy it is to access credit card information from Google Wallet. One major concern: Google Wallet is connected to your phone, not your Google account, so you can’t change your password online if your phone is lost or stolen.

Google said a fix would be available soon. ”We strongly encourage anyone who loses or wants to sell their phone to call Google Wallet support toll-free at 855-492-5538 to disable the prepaid card,” said a spokesperson.

“We are currently working on an automated fix as well that will be available soon. We also advise all Wallet users to set up a screen lock as an additional layer of protection for their phone.”

The Google Wallet app was introduced in May 2011 and went live in September. It’s marketed as a paper-free way to store credit cards and pay for items with a tap on a PayPass pad using NFC technology. Shortly after its release, security concerns prompted Verizon to block the app from its Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

AT&T didn’t allow Google Wallet until recently. As Zvelo pointed out, that could have been due to the fact that AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon had a network joint venture in ISIS — a direct competitor to Google Wallet.

By 2015, the value of all mobile money transactions is expected to reach $670 billion. Other companies, such as PayPal and Visa, have invested in their own mobile wallet technologies.

The Google Wallet website FAQ’s section says information stored on the app is protected by a chip called the Secure Element that operates separately from the phone’s main operating system.

Do you use Google Wallet? Are you concerned about someone stealing your information? Tell us in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, oonal

More About: Google, google wallet, hack, mobile security, Secure Element, security

January 02 2012

4 Big Moves Google Should Make in 2012

google sign

In peeking ahead to predict what 2012 holds for Google, it’s informative to look back at the eventful year it had. While one can’t help but see the big product introductions — a social network, a mobile-payment system, a music store — it’s the deletions that are much more interesting.

Google got rid of a host of unwieldy and barely used products and features in 2011. While Google regularly does “spring cleaning” to trim its vast portfolio, the projects scrapped this year were many, and most were originally intended to be major focuses of the company. Just look at this partial list of the services killed or folded into larger projects: Buzz. Knol. Checkout. PowerMeter. Health. Wave. Even the company’s well-meaning initiative to save the world from coal-fired power plants got tossed.

The mass culling is indicative of the style of Google’s new CEO, Larry Page. Of course, Page was Google’s first CEO, too, stepping aside for a decade to let Eric Schmidt run the show while Page and fellow company co-founder Sergey Brin could craft the company’s web services.

Google experimented a lot during that decade, and now that Page is back in the driver’s seat, he appears to have gotten that out of his system. Page is leading Google with unprecedented focus. From the major moves the company has made in the nine short months since Page got the top job, it’s clearer than ever which technologies Google is really serious about. After all, the ones it’s more lukewarm toward have probably gotten the ax.

SEE ALSO: Google Nails 2011 — Portrait of a Banner Year

Being serious isn’t the same as success, of course, but it’s an essential first step. Google may be aggressively plowing ahead in the areas of social networking, mobile payments and mobile devices, but so are many other heavy hitters. There are sure to be some collisions in 2012. Let’s take a look at some key ones.

Google+ Comes Into Its Own

Probably the most head-turning Google product launch in 2011 was the debut of Google+. Google’s very own social network borrows elements from Twitter and Facebook, but is its own animal. The launch saw virtually instant adoption by pretty much anyone and everyone who considered themselves tech- or media-savvy. And that’s been its greatest weakness.

Google+ has had favorable growth and many positive reviews, but it’s still relatively unknown among “real” people. And those that do know it have the distinct impression that it’s the social network for hard-core nerds. That’s something Google has to change if it wants people to use its service instead of competitors, and going mainstream has to be a primary goal in the new year.

It can do so by leveraging its differentiators (like the useful multiple-person videoconferencing Hangouts), but most of all it has to find its voice — its one-sentence description that doesn’t have the words “like Facebook” in it. This task is largely up to its users, since they’re the ones using the service, deciding which features they like and how they use it. They’re already starting to, with many Plusers treating the site like a centralized, supercharged blogging service.

Even as Google+ grows, though, it’s doubtful that it’ll ever be able to rise as high as Facebook, which is expected to hit a cool billion users this year. But as long as the service starts to become known as “the place where you…” something, maybe Barney Stinson, the digital-savvy womanizer on How I Met Your Mother will be regularly referencing it by the end of 2012.

Android Puts Its House in Order

The most sticking criticism of Android is its fragmentation problem — that there are so many devices running it, often with completely different specs, that it’s impossible to know with any certainty whether or not your device will ever get any updates that Google releases. That may not have hurt the platform’s market share, but it’s no doubt given a good chunk of potential customers pause.

Google’s acquisition of Motorola is a big step toward, if not putting this fragmentation business to rest, at least turning the tide a little. You can bet the farm that every Motorola device released under the new Google regime will have a clear upgrade path. Although Google’s other partners are wary of potential favoritism to Motorola, this actually works in Google’s favor, too, since now they’ll be strongly motivated to get in line with Google’s plans, lest customers opt for the perceived reliability of the Moto/Google name.

At the same time, the recent Android malware scares have given the platform a black eye. While Google has been very effective at addressing viruses and trojans in various evildoing apps as they’ve appeared, it needs to deploy a more proactive strategy to attack the issue head-on. Could an acquisition of, say, mobile-security company Lookout be next? It couldn’t hurt.

Ceding Tablet Territory While Building Content

It’s something of a embarrassment to Google that the most popular Android tablet ever launched is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which doesn’t even run Google’s tablet-optimized operating system. Amazon, by creating highly customized software that runs on top of Android and points users to the company’s digital services, essentially carved out its own platform by hijacking Google’s. Since Android is an open system, there’s not much Google can do about it.

At this point, it doesn’t really want to just yet. Tablets so far are essentially media-consumption devices — good for watching TV and movies, reading books and playing games. As colossal as the company is in many areas (see below), right now Google is far from a big player in offering actual content. Google Books and Google TV are anemic services, if not outright flops. Google Music, though promising, is brand new and has no mind share.

So it makes sense that consumers reacted to “proper” Android tablets with disdain. After all, Google never opened up version 3.0 “Honeycomb,” so anyone with actual content to offer (i.e. Amazon and Barnes & Noble) had no interest in using it. The devices on offer were virtually identical overpriced touchscreens whose only noteworthy commonality was that they weren’t iPads.

Even though Google’s just gotten into the hardware business by purchasing Motorola, I can’t see it focusing much on tablets just yet. Sure, the successors to the Xoom are on their way, and they’ll even move into the hands of a few customers, but Google must first focus on bumping up the quality and reputation of its content offerings before any “Xoom Nexus” has a shot at gobbling up market share from Apple and Amazon. Original videos on YouTube is great first step — there will be many more in 2012.

GDrive Cements Domination of the Cloud

This is kind of a no-brainer, but Google will continue its blot-out-the-sun dominance in its primary services: search, email and cloud services in general. Bing, the only credible challenger to Google’s search business, is rising, but very slowly, and that’s with Microsoft shoveling mountains of money into the service. And even though Yahoo and Hotmail now offer much better services than they did a couple of years ago, Gmail still has the (deserved) reputation of being the best and coolest of the lot.

Google’s been the cloud business for a long time, of course, but when it finally unveils its expected Dropbox competitor, nicknamed GDrive, it’s hard to see it not becoming an instant hit. Google is already synonymous with storing stuff online, and with Google+ it’s showed it can deftly merge disparate services to create a new and seamless experience. Standing against Google’s huge storage capabilities and cloud expertise could be too much for any other player in the space.

Overall: Going With What Works

Larry Page appears to have instilled Google with a new sense of focus, quickly striking while the iron’s hot on promising products like Google+ and Android, putting stagnant ones like Buzz out of their misery, and nurturing potential late-starters like Google Wallet. Some games, after all, are long, and we won’t know for a while whether the company’s bets on technologies such as mobile payments or solar panels will ever pay off. As soon as Page sees a winner, though, he clearly knows how to put the overwhelming force of the entire Google empire behind it. Before 2012 is out, he’ll no doubt have done it several times.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Andrew Turner

BONUS: Google New York… With Lego!

Google Logo in LEGO

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More About: 2012, amazon, android, eric schmidt, Google, google music, google wallet, kindle fire, larry page, Sergey Brin

July 13 2011

PayPal on Android To Start Hassle-Free NFC Payments

PayPal is preparing to release an update to its PayPal Mobile app that will allow Android users to make peer-to-peer payments using near field communication (NFC).

The technology will allow Android users with a NFC-enabled phone (right now that means the Samsung Nexus S) to initiate payments with one another by tapping their devices together. PayPal demoed the new feature Wednesday at MobileBeat 2011.

PayPal Mobile has supported bump-style mobile peer-to-peer payments in its iPhone and Android apps for quite some time, but what makes the NFC implementation different is in its ease and speed of use.

As Shimone Samuel, product experience manager for PayPal Mobile explained to Mashable, the process for initiating and confirming payments using the NFC feature is just two taps per user, rather than the multi-stepped process required in the bump-powered implementation.

This is how it works:

  • The PayPal Mobile app will now feature an NFC payments widget that can be displayed on an Android phone screen.
  • The user who wants to request money hits the request-for-payment button and enters the amount.
  • The user who is sending money needs to have his or her phone screen on and tap or wave the phone near the other user. Wait for the buzz sound.
  • The requesting user receives a notification and enters in his or her PIN to confirm the transfer.

For the person-to-person payment space, this is a big deal. It cuts down on the hassle involved in doing mobile or online payments.

Because Android is the only major smartphone platform to support NFC, it is the first beneficiary of this new feature. In the past, the iPhone has led over Android when it comes to getting new features in the PayPal Mobile app. This time, as Samuel told us, “the iPhone users are the ones that get to ask ‘when is it coming for us?’”

Future Android devices that support NFC should also support the new widget because PayPal is building it to Google’s API specifications. When non-Android platforms get around to supporting NFC, PayPal will look at adding the feature to those apps too.

PayPal’s use of NFC for peer-to-peer payments differs from the way Google Wallet wants to use the technology. In the case of Google Wallet, Google’s goal is to work with traditional retailers and credit card companies and payment terminals.

PayPal is planning to release the new NFC payments feature in late summer.

More About: android, google wallet, mobile payments, nfc, paypal

For more Mobile coverage:

July 08 2011

The Future of Mobile Payments [INFOGRAPHIC]

We know that mobile payments are redefining commerce, but will our phones soon replace our wallets?

PayPal seems to think so. The payments giant boldly predicts that the wallet will be dead by 2015. It’s putting its money where its mouth is: it recently acquired mobile payments provider Zong for $240 million.

PayPal isn’t the only one getting into the game though. Google recently launched Google Wallet, the search giant’s mobile payment system, and Visa recently made a strategic investment in Square, the mobile payments platform now worth more than $1.4 billion.

Professional community service G+ decided to look deeper into mobile payment trends and created an infographic that tracks what experts and analysts believe will happen to mobile commerce in the next four years, including what will happen with near field communication (NFC). G+ also compared some of the current players in the mobile payment space.

Check out the infographic, and let us know what you think is next for mobile payments in the comments.

More About: Google, google wallet, Isis, nfc, Visa

For more Mobile coverage:

July 07 2011

Nexus S 4G Update Paves the Way for Google Wallet?

The Nexus S 4G smartphone from Sprint will receive several important updates, including NFC support, on July 11, according to a screenshot unearthed by SprintFeed.

Since the Nexus S 4G was to be the first phone to support Google’s wireless mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, the fact that the device is finally getting NFC support might mean it’s time for Google Wallet to finally go live.

Google Wallet uses NFC (Near Field Communication) for contactless payments, and Google promised the first trial would be available this summer in the U.S. Google’s partners for the launch are Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint.

The July 11 update to Nexus S 4G should also, among other things, bring improved Wi-Fi connectivity, speakerphone audio quality, signal acquisition, a 4G settings widget and TTY support.

[via SprintFeed]

More About: contactless payments, Google, google wallet, Nexus S 4G, payment, payments, sprint, Wallet, wireless payments

For more Mobile coverage:

June 02 2011

Top 25 Most Shared Mashable Stories in May

icons image

The news cycle in May got off to a fast start as social networks were abuzz on May 1 with speculation and subsequent confirmation of terrorist Osama bin Laden’s death.

The month ended on a lighter note with such stories as Twitter launching a Follow button for websites, which is the freshest post to make our list of top 25 most shared stories.

You — our engaged readers — not only absorbed the aforementioned two stories and everything in between, but you also shared them in droves with your friends across social sites. Some of you also joined our social sharing and content curation platform called Mashable Follow, which now has more than 100,000 users, and used the M Share button to keep your online network in the know.

Based on figures from the M Share button, the following 25 stories got the most love, with number one receiving more than 42,500 combined shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Google Buzz.

Thanks for reading and sharing our content. We look forward to seeing which stories you share in June!

Most Shared Stories: 25 to 21

25. Chinese Prisoners Forced To Farm Gold in Online Games

24. Google Reveals Mobile Payment System: Google Wallet

23. 17 Twitter Tips from Mashable Connect Attendees

22. Altered Martin Luther King Jr. Quote Goes Viral After Osama Bin Laden's Death

21. You Can Now Tag Pages in Facebook Photos

Most Shared Stories: 20 to 16

20. Is There a Social Media Tech Bubble? [INFOGRAPHIC]

19. Julian Assange: Facebook Is a Spy Machine [VIDEO]

18. One Twitter User Reports Live From Osama Bin Laden Raid

17. Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed by Small Businesses

16. 8 Brands That Have Found Success on Facebook & What We Can Learn

Most Shared Stories: 15 to 11

15. Money-Shredding Alarm Clock Is Completely Unforgiving [PICS]

14. Apple Now World's Most Valuable Brand [STUDY]

13. 10 Historic Tweets That Captivated the World

12. The Eating Habits of Conservatives Versus Liberals [INFOGRAPHIC]

11. Twitter Launches Follow Button for Websites

Most Shared Stories: 10 to 6

10. President Obama Delivers Statement on Death of Osama Bin Laden [VIDEO]

9. Elaborate Marriage Proposal Delights Bride-To-Be [VIRAL VIDEO]

8. Starbucks & Lady Gaga Team Up On Scavenger Hunt

7. Facebook To Buy Skype? [REPORT]

6. Space Shuttle Twitpic Launches Woman to Tweeting Fame

Most Shared Stories: 5 to 1

5. Facebook Dislike Button Scam Gets More Sophisticated [WARNING]

4. Microsoft Acquires Skype for $8.5 Billion

3. It's Happening: Top 10 Rapture Bomb Pics

2. Which TV Shows Are the Most Social? [STATS]

1. Just How Dangerous Is Sitting All Day? [INFOGRAPHIC]

More About: barack obama, facebook, foursquare, google wallet, mashable connect, microsoft, osama bin laden, Skype, twitter, wikileaks

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May 27 2011

PayPal Sues Google & Former Execs Over Google Wallet

Well, that didn’t take long: shortly after Google’s announcement of its new mobile payment service, Google Wallet, PayPal sued the company as well as two of its former executives over trade secrets.

According to PayPal’s lawsuit, which can be read in full here, former PayPal executive (now working at Google) Osama Bedier stole PayPal’s trade secrets and shared it with Google and other companies. Another present Googler and former PayPal exec, Stephanie Tilenius, violated her contract when she recruited Bedier, PayPal said.

“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,” says PayPal’s Amanda Pires in an official blog post.

Why has PayPal decided to sue Google less than a day after the announcement of Google Wallet? GigaOm’s sources claim that PayPal is working on a similar system, due to be announced in the following days. Bedier has extensive knowledge of PayPal’s work in the mobile payments space – knowledge he took with him when he went to Google – and PayPal suspects some of it was instrumental for the creation of Google Wallet. It’s easy to see why PayPal is reaching for lawyers, but we’ll have to hear Google’s side of the story before reaching for conclusions.

A Google spokesman said in an e-mail to Bloomberg that the company hasn’t received a copy of the lawsuit, and will not comment on it until it has reviewed it.

[via PayPal, Bloomberg]

More About: google wallet, online payments, payment service, payments, paypal

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May 26 2011

Google Reveals Mobile Payment System: Google Wallet

At Google’s media event Thursday in New York City, the company unveiled Google Wallet, its mobile payment system, as well as more details about Google Offers. Mashable was at the event for the announcements. Here is a recap of what happened.

Announcements Recap: Google Wallet & Offers

11:52 a.m. The event is about to get started. Press and partners are here and we’re all anticipating Google’s not so-secret NFC and contactless payment plans.

12:00 p.m. Google will be announcing Google Wallet and Google Offers, built on an open platform that is built to combine payments and offers at the point of sale. “Your phone will be your wallet.”

12:02 p.m. Consumer opinion on ecommerce is evolving, with 70% of users now comfortable with using the Internet to share and manage their financial information.

12:05 p.m. MasterCard is on stage discussing the evolution of NFC and mobile payments and how the smartphone revolution has helped push the idea into a reality, “transforming the shopping experience.”

12:07 p.m. Google is partnering with Citi, MasterCard, FirstData and Sprint to bring better and more evolved payments to the public. Google stresses this is the first step and that this vision will “take a while to come to fruition.”

12:11 p.m. Google Wallet is up first. Google Wallet will go into a field test today and will launch this summer. It uses NFC and is working with Citi and MasterCard and First Data. It turns your phone into a wallet.

12:12 p.m. The first iteration will serve payments, offers and gift cards with a single tap.

12:14 p.m. Google Offers, which will also launch this summer, will debut in San Francisco, Portland and New York. It’s more than a deal-of-the-day system, working as a place to house offers, loyalty rewards and Google Places merchant deals all in one place.

12:15 p.m. Osama Bedier, VP of Payments at Google (and formerly of PayPal) is on stage to demonstrate the Google Wallet and Google Offers product. Google Wallet requires users to associate Google Wallet with a Google account. After agreeing to terms and conditions and entering a PIN, users can then start the process of provisioning their cards to their account.

12:23 p.m. Google is now talking about the security behind mobile payment and provisioning process. Google is combining NFC with what they are calling PN65, a secure element chip paired with NFC.

12:25 p.m. Google has posted more information about Google Wallet on the Official Google Blog.

12:26 p.m. Bedier is showcasing how users can use the Google Wallet interface on the smartphone to search for offers and coupons at American Eagle, Subway and other merchants.

12:28 p.m. American Eagle is on stage with an actual point-of-sale system to showcase how the Google Wallet system works and how it can pass across credit cards, coupons and a loyalty card all in one pass. Very cool! This is called “Single Tap.”

12:30 p.m. Another founder of the Google Wallet project is on stage discussing how the “Single Tap” system works. This technology is something Google wants to continue to invest in and this fall it will be adding the ability to pass receipts back to the wallet and create dynamic cards, like loyalty program cards.

12:40 p.m. Citi is on stage discussing why they are excited about Google Wallet. Citi is “committed to leveraging this state of the art technology.” “Google Wallet represents true innovation.”

12:45 p.m. MasterCard is back on stage discussing their partnership. MasterCard sees itself “as the heart of commerce.” As an aside — I have spoken with MasterCard representatives about mobile payments and the company is fully committed to investing and innovating in the mobile payment space. This is part of what is a much larger vision for the company as a whole.

12:48 p.m. First Data is on stage. North American President Ed Labry says, “It wasn’t a question of if, but when” in regards to today’s announcement. Labry is taking us through the evolution of electronic payments — from the first credit card in the 1950s, to the inability to pay for groceries with a credit card in 1989, to the lack of credit card support at fast food restaurants in 1999. He makes good points about how quickly and naturally this space has evolved.

First Data processes $40 billion in payments a year, even though, as Labry says, “You’ve never heard of us unless you’re in the industry.” They process 50% of transactions in the U.S. Wow.

“We house 700 million cards and card numbers on pieces of plastic.” In the future, that piece of plastic will be stored on a phone. Fascinating.

12:54 p.m. Sprint is now on stage, discussing their role as a founding “carrier partner” with Google Wallet. Sprint wants to work with its OEM partners to help bridge the technology to support Google Wallet to the network.

The Nexus S 4G will support Google Wallet from day one.

12:56 p.m. Google is back on stage showing a retail partner video.

1:01 p.m. Again, Google will start field-testing today and plan on launching this summer. Google is now taking questions.

First question: For Offers, Google will be the merchant of record and that’s how they will make money on Google Offers.

“What happens if you lose your phone?” — If you lose your phone, cards can be deprovisioned over the air.

“How open is open? Can I use this on my Windows Phone 7 or iPhone? How many NFC payment locations are out there?” — Google is coy on the NFC numbers and says that “we will work with all platforms and partners, especially if they build NFC into their hardware.” The answer strikes us as hedging and non-specific, but this does seem to be more of a Google play, not necessarily an Android play.

“Why do you still need a signature?” — Partly a merchant decision, even though Google thinks the security in its implementation for payments is much higher. Seems more piece of mind than anything else.

“Google’s revenue opportunity?” — Again, Google makes money on Offers and is not charging on the payments side. That has huge implications.

Google also pointed out that the Google Offers app will be available for download, even for non-NFC Android phones. Users can also add an NFC sticker to their phone to add capability. NFC will be added to future Android devices.

CNBC is asking about data ownership and privacy issues. Google says that the data is owned by the various merchant partners and payment companies and the consumer itself.

1:19 p.m. That’s a wrap folks!

More About: Google, Google Offers, google wallet, mobile payments, nfc

For more Mobile coverage:

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