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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The prepaid angle to the Google Wallet

Google Inc. has made prepaid card functionality central to its mobile wallet pilot program for near field communication-enabled mobile payments. On its website, the search engine giant laid out how the mobile wallet will support the Google Prepaid Card and private-label gift cards offered by participating merchants, as well as Citibank's MasterCard Worldwide-branded credit card called the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard.

Google said the virtual Google Prepaid Card is an option for consumers who do not have a Citi MasterCard. Once consumers activate the Google Prepaid Card in Google Wallet, Google loads a courtesy amount of $10 onto the card. When consumers reload the virtual card, they pay no fees for at least until the end of 2011, Google noted.

Additionally, Google Wallet can store the closed-loop gift cards issued by retailers participating in the pilot, including Bloomingdale's Inc., The Container Store Inc., Peet's Coffee & Tea, RadioShack Corp. and Subway. When consumers tap smart phones on POS terminals at participating merchants, Google Wallet transmits gift card information from phones to terminals, Google said. end of article

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