(CBS) - Could you ever ditch your wallet completely? With Google Wallet, you might just be able to.
Search engine giant Google is preparing the launch of Google Wallet. With the slogan, "make your phone your wallet," the, enables consumers to tap, pay and save. Sounds so easy, right?
Essentially, Google Wallet will store your credit cards, loyalty cards, even gift cards via an Android app on your smartphone. Once installed and set up, all you have to do is tap to pay at select locations. In order to use the service, you should also have a Citi MasterCard, Google Prepaid Card or gift cards at participating stores. The prepaid card is similar to how PayPal works. In fact,
You can use Google Wallet at Macy's, American Eagle, Walgreens, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, RadioShack, The Container Store, Bloomingdale's, Duane Reade, Toys 'R' Us, and Subway (just to name a few) to redeem special offers and earn loyalty credit as you pay for stuff via your mobile device. These stores are considered "Google SingleTap" merchants.
You can also use the locator on their site to find other stores that will honor the Google Wallet. I did a quick search for my hometown's zip code, for example, and it turned up: CVS, Office Depot, Petco, Quickchek, even small shops (the list goes on). These are "tap and pay merchants," which means you can pay by tapping your mobile phone at any of these Paypass enabled stores (no special offers though).
According to PC World, Nexus S phone users should be able to Google-Wallet it up by the end of the day. You can sign up here to be notified when it officially goes live.
Although many are reluctant to use it - after all, there's still the question of security - the search giant believes this is only the beginning. Remember life before credit cards? Just a decade ago, people were afraid to buy things online. After Google Wallet, what's next? Payment by telepathy?