At their New York City headquarters today Google unveiled the partners and products that make up Google Wallet, their mobile payment app.
As an entrepreneur in the space recently told Betabeat, every major credit card company is looking for a tech firm to join with. “Bascially, you need to bring a partner to the dance,” she said.
Google is partnering with Mastercard, as well as offering their own rewards card. “It’s actually way more secure than your physical wallet. There is the screen lock, the pin code and encrypted data which doesn’t share your entire credit card number.”
The Wallet app will sync with Google Offers so users can get a discount in their email, save it with one click, and redeem it later by simply swiping their phones. The big partners on the retail side include Macy’s, Subway, Walgreens and American Eagle.
The app works on the Nexus S, which has a built-in NFC chip and all kinds of sci-fi protection, including what Google’s security specialist claims to be protection against laser attacks and a self-destruct program if someone tries to remove the chip.
During the demo Osama Bedier, formerly of PayPal and now Google’s mobile pay head honcho, searched for “denim shorts,” got an offer right at the top of his results, and saved it for 20 percent off. This could bring even more scrutiny to how Google privileges its own search results above organic information.
Soon, says Google, this will be integrated with various properties like Google Places, where merchants can post their own offers, and within mobile ads that can be served up in a location-specific way.
Google is very excited about game mechanics, a spokesman said, an awesome but morally ambiguous thing to integrate directly into someone’s wallet.