Google has announced in the US that it’s to launch Google Wallet, a system where people get to pay with stuff using their smartphones.
A chip inside the smartphone would allow customers to top up money and then swipe it over a scanner to pay for goods, in the same way that you swipe an Oyster Card on the London Underground.
We’ve reported on this service before, but for it to become truly widespread, a big player needed to get involved. And now it has.
On the Google Wallet website, the search engine giant claims: 'In the past few thousand years, the way we pay has changed just three times — from coins, to paper money, to plastic cards. Now we're on the brink of the next big shift.'
Mark Carpenter, from payment specialists The Logic Group, added: 'Contactless payment technology has crept into the public domain over the last couple of years. Today's announcement though represents the moment when 'wave and pay' momentum went up a gear.
'The payment technology involved in the Google digital wallet though is nothing new. Where it does get exciting is how this might extend beyond just making payments.
'Tapping your phone against a poster for example, to gain a discount for a purchase that is stored on your phone. It could then be possible to buy that item, again using a 'single tap' – to apply the promotional discount, pay for the goods and even receive loyalty points.
'There are still a number of security problems that the industry needs to address but the single tap concept and the digital wallet are fast becoming a reality.'