In an effort to allow consumers to use their smartphones to deal with credit card debt, Google became the first company to formally unveil its mobile wallet system earlier this week.
Google Wallet was officially introduced in San Francisco Thursday, but the mobile payment service also has a number of restrictions in place due to its still being in the testing phase, according to a report from CNN. For example, the service will at first only be available in San Francisco and New York City, but will eventually be expanded to include 311,000 locations worldwide. In addition, only one smartphone on the market – the Sprint Nexus 4G – currently supports near-field communication technology.
However, experts also noted that consumers wary of the security of the system should have no fears about using it, the report said.
“It’s basically the same technology as credit cards,” Mung-Ki Woo, head of mobile for MasterCard Worldwide, told the news agency. “It’s not better or worse.”
Many analysts expect the mobile card payment industry to be worth billions annually in just a few years. Some estimates place its value at $44 billion per year by 2015.