Google and Visa have signed a deal that extends Google Wallet digital payments to Visa credit, debit and prepaid account holders around the world. Google has licensed Visa payWave, an NFC-based payment technology that lets customers make retail payments by waving their phones in front of a payment terminal.
Google Wallet, a mobile application that turns a smart phone into a digital wallet, was recently made available to the public via the Sprint Nexus S 4G through a software update. The app was previously only set to work with MasterCard accounts.
Visa says that this agreement with Google is part of its strategy to make mobile payments available to its customers through a range of digital wallets, including its own, which is in development. Last July, Visa also joined Isis, the mobile payments consortium formed by major U.S. wireless network operators AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, to allow its customers to make purchases with mobile phones through Isis' NFC-enabled technology.
"This is a crucial step towards realizing our shared vision for the future of mobile commerce -- one that creates a rich shopping experience for consumers and merchants alike," said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president of commerce and payments at Google, in a statement.
Update: Google's Vice President of Payments, Osama Bedier, also announced in a blog post that Discover and American Express have also made available their NFC specifications so that their account holders can use future versions of Google Wallet. "Our goal is to make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet, so you can say goodbye to even the biggest traditional wallets," said Bedier.