Google Wallet is live in five U.S. cities -- New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles -- and if you're unfamiliar with the new NFC-based wallet phone technology, worry not. Google has teamed up with Sprint and Samsung to familiarize people with the service in select stores.
"Over the next three months, we'll be visiting merchant locations in (these cities) for half-day events to demo Google Wallet and help you pay for your purchase," wrote Keren Michelson on the Google Commerce Blog today.
Participants will get $10 towards their purchase when they tap and pay using one of the Sprint Samsung Nexus S demo phones (the only phone currently supporting Google Wallet). According to Michelson, the campaign will visit the following stores: Duane Reade, Jamba Juice, Walgreens, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Foot Locker, Fat Witch Bakery in Chelsea Market and others.
Google appears to have formulated a purposeful campaign to raise awareness of Google Wallet technology. Consumers are mostly uninformed about NFC technology today and credit card security is certainly a concern. It makes sense then, that Google make an effort to establish trust to connect with consumers and win their loyalty.
As someone who is extremely cautious about credit cards (I don't even carry my credit cards around in my wallet -- I keep them in a box at home utnil a big purchase comes along), I don't know that I would be quick to jump on the Google Wallet bandwagon.
Having all that power in a device that travels everywhere with me (my smartphone), is just a tad bit daunting for me. I could see myself using the technology in certain planned out situations though, such as travel to a foreign country, where having the convenience of Google Wallet would make a big difference. But that's just me.
Nevertheless, Google is doing the right thing in demoing Google Wallet to the public. It will take time to win over the average consumer and showing people how easy -- and presumably safe -- it is to pay with the swipe of a phone is a good way to start.