“During a press conference in New York City yesterday, Google officially took the wraps off of its Google Wallet and Google Offers mobile payment services. Google confirmed that it is working with banks, retailers, and other partners to allow users to make mobile payments with their cell phones. “Your phone will be your wallet,” Google’s VP of Commerce, Stephanie Tilenius, said. “Just tap, pay and save.” Initial partners include Citi, MasterCard, Macy’s, Subway, Walgreens, and Sprint, and trials will begin today with a full launch expected this summer. The search giant said that more than 300,000 merchant locations in the United States will work with Google’s NFC-based mobile payment services, and Google Wallet will automatically apply discounts, loyalty rewards, or coupons at the point of sale. Users can charge up the wallet using a credit card or a prepaid Google card. The firm expects that, by 2014, 150 million smartphones with be enabled with near-field communications (NFC). Google Offers will provide offers based on a user’s location and preferences, and that trial will first occur in Portland and New York.”
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