With Google’s mobile NFC payment service Google Wallet beginning to gain traction in the U.S following its launch on September 19, the search giant is set to launch next in the UK as part of a pilot project in London, French newspaper Les Echos reports.
It is believed that Google Wallet could debut in the English capital in the first quarter of 2012, bringing NFC-based mobile payments and coupons to consumers with NFC-enabled smartphones.
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The newspaper report is brief on details but Google is said to be working to get Google Wallet fully operational in London in time for the start of the 2012 Olympics Games, which is to commence on July 27 2012. In order to get the service ready, the search giant is reportedly in talks with several banks, distributors and retailers.
In the U.S, Google partnered with U.S mobile operator Sprint to offer its NFC payment technology to subscribers with a Nexus S Android smartphone. Verizon, which is to launch the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Galaxy Nexus imminently, recently hit the headlines after it decided against including the application on its handsets, citing security issues.
If true, it will be a big step for Google’s payment service, helping boost the visibility of Google Wallet at one of the world’s most popular sporting events. With retailers, brands and businesses all working to increase exposure during the Olympics, Google could hit the ground running with its London debut.
Google has not responded to our request for comment at the time of writing, we will update the article should we receive a response.