Mobile

Google Wallet is hitting the road for a 5-city tour with $10 “bribes”

Google is taking its mobile payment product, Google Wallet, on the road.

The new technology, which allows customers to swipe Wallet-enabled Android phones in front of compatible readers to make purchases, will be available for consumers to test out at retail locations scattered around five U.S. cities. Samsung and Sprint will also be participating in the events.

New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, DC will each see half-day demo events at various merchants and stores. Some of the retail brands that will feature Google Wallet demonstrations include Duane Reade, Jamba Juice, Walgreens, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and Foot Locker.

Google employee Keren Michelson wrote on the company blog that anyone who wants to try Google Wallet at one of the demos will also receive $10 towards his or her purchase when making a payment from one of the Samsung Nexus S demo devices.

Some events have already taken place, but the bulk of the demos will happen between now and January 12. Google has posted a full schedule of when and where the Google Wallet demonstrations will be happening.

“We’re excited to give you a chance to try out Google Wallet and experience paying with a mobile phone,” wrote Michelson.

Wallet itself just launched (rather quietly) last month. It uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to process the payments. Currently, it only works with Citi MasterCard credit cards and with merchants that have the PayPass technology installed. But Google is working with Visa, American Express and Discover to support their NFC credit cards, as well.

While Google is snuggling up to Sprint for support of the Wallet rollout, the other three major carriers are cooking up an NFC payment system of their own. Called Isis, this mobile payment network counts AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon as its parent companies.

And of course, like all other Google products, Google Wallet is going to be getting a shot in the arm in the form of integration with existing Google web and mobile apps. At VentureBeat’s MobileBeat 2011 conference in San Francisco, Google executive Stephanie Tilenius said Wallet would be integrated with Google+, Google Offers and Google Maps.


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