Which.co.uk: Internet giant Google is expected to launch a mobile payments platform later today.
Going by the name of Google Wallet, the Android-based payments system will allow consumers to pay for goods or receive special offers simply by waving select Android-based Sprint smartphones at a specialised reader at the checkout.
Google Wallet is likely to use near-field communications (NFC) technology, similar to that employed in the Quick Tap contactless phone payment service recently launched in the UK by Orange and Barclaycard.
Google Wallet will be trialled in stores in New York and San Francisco before being rolled out to other states in America. According to the Wall Street Journal, which first surfaced these rumours, American Eagle, Macy’s and Subway are three retailers who have agreed to trial the mobile payments system in their stores.
Google is expected to sell advertising to the retailers that participate in the mobile payments system, and third-party Android app developers will be able to write software that integrates into the payment system.