Google has announced that it is rolling out its Google Wallet payment system to include credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
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The wireless payment service from the technology giant was first launched last year, but was largely restricted to prepaid or Citibank-issued credit cards.
The new cloud service will now mean that a Google Wallet-enabled phone can make wireless payments, with the balance being deducted from a wide range of debit and credit cards, using Near Field Communication (NFC).
Users will simply need to wave their phone over a NFC-compatible till to enact a payment. The updated service also includes enhanced security features, allowing users to disable a stolen or lost device remotely via any web browser.
Google had initially planned to work with individual banks, before realising that this would be a lengthy process.
“This was an approach that from a negotiation and integration standpoint could take several months to a year,” said Robin Dua, head of product management for the service.
“Given how many banks there are in the US, this approach could literally take a lifetime to work through.”
Google’s move comes as payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard, are set to introduce systems with the aim of turning consumers’ smartphones into virtual credit cards.
A number of wireless carriers and other payment firms, such as PayPal, are also to introduce contactless payment systems in the near future.
Figures released earlier this year showed that there were around 23 million contactless credit and debit cards in use in the UK, which can be used at thousands of outlets around the country.
More than 50 national retailers use the contactless payment system in-store, including Greggs, Boots and McDonald’s.
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