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Many Sprint customers still waiting for Google Wallet

Consumer Reports News: September 21, 2011 11:08 AM

In its rush to be the first digital wallet on the market, Google Wallet’s promotional promises seem to have gotten a little ahead of themselves. Despite a Monday launch by Google that said, “Now available on Nexus S 4G on Sprint,” Sprint says that the service may not reach all eligible customers until the end of this week.

Spokespeople for both Google and Sprint confirmed that the app had not yet been installed on many phones around the country on launch day, but they wouldn’t comment on how many.

“An over-the-air software update will be automatically pushed to all Nexus S 4G phones over the course of the week, and once you agree to the update and it installs, Google Wallet will then be available on your phone,” said Emmy Anderson, a Sprint spokeswoman. “All Nexus S 4G users will receive the software update with Google Wallet by the end of the week.”

The app was not yet available on our Sprint Nexus S 4G phone as of this morning, when we tried to independently test it.

The digital wallet will let you pay for purchases at the cash registers of participating retailers by using your phone like a plastic credit card. Indeed, the new payment device that promises to replace traditional payment methods, won’t work without an underlying Google prepaid card or Citi MasterCard credit card. Google Wallet will also be able to employ American Express, Discover, and Visa cards in the future.

We’ll report on our test of Google Wallet as well as our assessment of the Google Prepaid Card’s consumer protections, once we obtain the app and cardholder agreement.

Jeff Blyskal

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