Pay for groceries with your Smartphone. Does anyone else feel like they’re playing Shadowrun?

Google Wallet, that’s what Google has named their new app aimed at making shopping easier than ever before.  The app will have many layers of security to protect against fraud although many of us are still skeptical.  I see a future of virtual wallet snatching where criminals snag your smartphone and go on shopping sprees using up all your “credits”, just like the sci-fi novels, movies, and RPGs of yesteryear.

To make the Google Wallet a reality, Google has partnered with Citi, MasterCard, First Data, and Sprint and merchants including Subway, Macy’s, Walgreens, and American Eagle Outfitters.  Google says it is building an open solution to other financial companies and retailers.

“Your phone will be your wallet- just tap, pay, and save.”

-Stephanie Tilenius, Vice President of payments at Google

Here’s exactly how the Google Wallet app will work:

  1. Download and install the Google Wallet app
  2. Sign up for a Google Wallet account
  3. Google will grant you a Citi MasterCard
  4. You will sign up for a Google Card (a prepaid credit card)
  5. You may transfer money between your Google Card and Citi Mastercard
  6. When you pay you may use your Google Wallet as payment
  7. You also have the option to use Google Offers- coupons for products remotely or by showing a barcode as you checkout.  It will be usable only at MasterCard PayPass terminals at first, but will branch out if successful.

Google starts initial field testing summer 2011 in New York and San Francisco.  The first smartphone to get the app?  The Nexus S 4G, available on Sprint.

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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games / AdventureAWeek.com, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.