Google Wallet: Future versions much more important

It won't be clear whether Google Wallet has mobile payment chops until it's more broadly available.

Google on Monday launched its Google Wallet effort complete with deals with Visa, Discover and American Express. Sprint will be the first to offer Google Wallet on a device.

However, this first Google Wallet wave isn't much to see despite an initial splash. Citi and Mastercard are launch partners, but it won't be clear whether Google Wallet has mobile payment chops until it's more broadly available. Today, American Eagle Outfitters, the Container Store, Macy's, Foot Locker and Subway are the largest outlets accepting Google Wallet.

Partnerships with Visa, Discover and American Express only mean that they will be available on "future versions of Google Wallet." In other words, Google Wallet won't mean much to you unless you have a Sprint Nexus S and a Citi Mastercard.

Until you can put all your cards on Google Wallet, adoption will be light and limited to early adopters.

As noted previously, established financial players will be in the mobile payment driver's seat until proven otherwise. Why? The trust factor. Consumers are used to working with their banks as well as established credit card players. Google has plenty of trust, but perhaps not enough to hold your financial life.

Related:

Visa, Google forge mobile payment licensing deal:

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