Google has finally unveiled its public service for mobile payments called Google Wallet. The NFC-based technology will initially work with select Android devices and participating merchants to give customers the ability to pay with their smartphones.

Short of a South Korean carrier offering an NFC-equipped iPhone case to customers, mobile payment technology has yet to make its name known on the iOS platform. Apple is expected to unveil an iPhone with an embedded NFC chip next year…

The first release of Google Wallet is partnered with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. Visa, Discover and American Express will be joining the party soon, too. The Sprint Nexus S 4G smartphone boasts Google Wallet first.

Here’s an example of how the service works:

Early adopters get an extra $10 loaded on their Google Prepaid Cards. What’s really cool about Google Wallet is that users will be able to scan participating merchant’s promo materials and get the coupons credited to their virtual Google Wallet accounts.

As mobile payments become more mainstream with services like Google Wallet, Apple will do what it does best: sit back and watch. Google will undoubtedly fail at certain things with Google Wallet and succeed with others. Apple will swoop in next year with its own NFC-like service that ties in with its users’ iTunes accounts. And it will be awesome.

TechCrunch has a great review and walkthrough of Google Wallet in real life, so check that out if you want to learn more.

At iDB, we’re more concerned with what Apple has planned in this department. It’s interesting to see what the competition is up to, but next year can’t come soon enough.

  • Jorge

    Apple will do what it does best: just sit and see how google beats him in terms of innovation, imagine, apple will be 1 year behind this tech. Amazing!!

    • Like you said, Apple sits back, looks, learn, and then releases a product much better than anyone else. It’s no secret. Apple doesn’t invent things, they just copy and make then better. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as they deliver a product that is of a better quality than anything else.

  • Mac

    luv apple!!!!!

  • Richard

    Why was my post removed?

    • Because it was a slightly ignorant comment that was spreading wrong information.

  • I trust Apple, I bet it will be a close fight since Google has the first start, but Apple will come out ahead.

  • Rick

    I am sorry Sebastien, i did not know i was breaking your heart telling you the truth about your beloved Mr. Jobs who had manage to make you believe apple is the best trough markenting, just face it, how can you say that apple is the best if they just copy things, it is way better to lead than to follow and aplle is following but way behing. Hater.

    • You didn’t break my heart. I am well aware of the good and bad sides of Apple. I just thought that spreading wrong info like you did (ie. Jobs didn’t quit because of his health issues but because he is incompetent) shouldn’t have a place on iDB. We welcome different views and opinions as long as they are respectful of everyone.

      Apple never pretended not to copy. Steve Jobs himself quoted Picasso who said that “great artists steal”. I agree with you that innovation is great. But innovation without a proper implementation is pointless.