Following a nearly four-month trial period, Google is taking its mobile commerce application, Google Wallet, nationwide. In a blog post announcing the news, the search giant said it needed the time to extensively test the app, which lets users pay for goods by tapping their smartphones against special wireless readers, which are powered by MasterCard’s contactless “PayPass” technology.
Ed McLaughlin, MasterCard’s Chief Emerging Payments Officer, said the months of experimentation in New York and San Francisco also helped refine the app, which functions like a virtual wallet of digital credit cards.
The app’s official launch gives Google an edge over the crowd of companies angling for a share of the emerging mobile commerce/payments market. Everyone from PayPal to the wireless carriers is rushing to introduce ways to make purchases, receive and redeem coupons and store ticketing information on cellphones.