Australian customers longing for mobile payment technology are set to miss out on the initial release of Google's new mobile Wallet product, but those who come on board in the US can use the service here.
The Google Wallet service is a partnership between the search giant and US bank Citi, which enables customers with a Samsung Nexus S on the Sprint mobile network to pay for services using the near-field communication (NFC) chip on their phone. NFC is a technology that facilitates the transmission of data over short distances, typically payment terminals.
Google is also offering US customers access to Google's prepaid card service for users who don't want to team their Citi MasterCard to their Nexus S, and that Visa and American Express have shared their contactless payment standards in order to expand the service.
Google Australia has told ZDNet Australia that the local market will be missing out on the Wallet for now. It added, however, that Sprint mobile customers travelling internationally with their phone could use the Google Wallet service on any MasterCard PayPass terminal in the world. So, theoretically, Australian customers could import the Google Wallet to Australia by bringing back a Wallet-enabled Sprint mobile service from the US.
Sprint does support international roaming in Australia, but, given the high cost of roaming internationally, unless the user is an extremely frequent traveller, the service would likely prove too much of a hassle and a burden on the wallet to be feasible.