Google announced on Monday that its Wallet tap and pay system is now being accepted at stores operated by American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy's, OfficeMax and Toys "R" Us. It also said it was working with other merchants, including Chevron, D'Agostino, Faber News Now, Gristedes and Pinkberry, to enable Google Wallet purchases in those stores, as well.
With Google Wallet, consumers can walk into stores and simply tap their phone to pay for a purchase. Loyalty cards and/or key fobs will no longer be necessary at retailers as consumers load up Google Wallet loyalty cards onto the mobile phone app. Shoppers will also be able to access special "Featured Offers" available only to Google Wallet holders.
American Express, Citi, Discover, Mastercard and Visa have signed on as credit card partners for Google.
"It's still early days for Google Wallet, but this is an important step in expanding the ecosystem of participating merchants to make shopping faster and easier in more places," Spencer Spinnell, director of emerging markets for Google, told eWeek.
The biggest limitation, and it is big, according to eWeek is that the Wallet currently only works with Sprint's Nexus S 4G smartphone. Google is seeking to enable the Wallet app to work on other Android phones.
Security also remains a concern. In a May RetailWire poll, 42 percent cited privacy/security concerns as the biggest impediment to the rollout of Google's Wallet.
"Mobile payment technology, like any over the air, OTA, communication, is 'hackable,' even if someone does not have your cell phone," Jennifer L. Jacobson, director of shopping site Retrevo.com, told CNBC.
"Google has taken many precautions when it comes to security," Jason Hennessey, CEO of Everspeak Interactive, told CNBC. "Some might say that digital currency can oftentimes be more secure than regular currency. After all, you don't need to input a PIN every time you use your credit card."
How sizable an upside/downside do you see for Google's Wallet technology?