The trial of Google Wallet, the ‘tap to pay’ service announced back in May, looks to be launching today. A leaked memo retrieved by TechCrunch points to today, the 19th of September as the trial’s launch date. And, as the TechCrunch post point out, today is the first day of the NFC World Congress event in Nice, France. Coincidence?
According to the memo, the trial is only available to those with a Sprint Nexus S phones who’ve got a Citi MasterCard that’s PayPass-enabled. So, pretty limited in terms of reach at the moment.
MasterCard’s PayPass service is currently enabled in the UK, which bodes well for a future rollout of Google Wallet over here. MasterCard is also due to speak at NFC World Congress over the next three days, so we’re expecting to hear more details on this throughout the week.
Google has previously said that the tests of the NFC-powered service would begin in ‘September’ but hadn’t given a concrete release date.
In other NFC/mobile wallet news, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone have announced that they’ll all be working on a service that’s due to launch “before the end of the year.”
O2 had also previously announced a ‘mobile wallet’ joint venture with Visa Europe for a new O2 Money prepaid card. So while we probably won’t get to play with Google Wallet in the UK before the year is out we can look forwards to what the major networks can come up with between themselves.