Google (NSDQ: GOOG) expanded its Google Wallet push Monday, adding new coupon and loyalty card services to its mobile payments product as well as a few new retailers hoping to make it easier for customers to spend money.
As originally promised, Google Wallet partners like Macy’s, American Eagle Outfitters, and Jamba Juice will now let Google Wallet users immediately receive special offers when they tap their phones to pay for goods and services at those retailers, and they’ll also be able to link their loyalty card information to their accounts in order to earn points without having to whip out a separate card. Google also announced that new partners are on board with its vision of mobile payments, including Chevron and Pinkberry.
As we’ve discussed at length this year, the idea of paying with your phone is something that several industries are keen to implement, but that consumers and retailers at large have been a bit wary about embracing. There are a few competing visions for how such a service will be rolled out, but the topic has gotten as much attention as anything this year in the mobile industry.
Google didn’t disclose how many people are using Google Wallet in these early days, but there aren’t a ton of Android phones out there (relatively speaking) that support the NFC (near-field communications) technology needed to make this system work. A number of prominent Android vendors have backed a wireless-industry led joint venture called Isis, which also counts Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) among its backers. Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has yet to discuss support for NFC chips in the iPhone.