Google has stolen a march on PayPal with the announcement of their first public partnership with a public transport network. If you happen to live in Newark, New Jersey travelling on the NJ Transit network, and if you also chose to use a Nexus S 4G on the Sprint network and if you have either a Citi MasterCard credit cards or if get yourself a Google Prepaid Card then you can pay for your bus ride (on selected routes) just by waving your mobile.
That’s a lot of “ifs”, but it’s an insight into the cashless future we’re being promised where we won’t need the exact change for our bus fare but can simply pay with our mobile.
I can understand that the NJ Transit partnership with Google Wallet is only available at New York Penn Station ticket vending machines and ticket windows, Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Station and selected bus routes, but Google Wallet itself is severely hampered by only being available on a single cell phone model from a particular provide with currently just on bank’s credit card being supported as a funding source.
The limitations are not going to make it available to the vast majority of travellers. However in a few years time we could all be paying for travel with a payment system embedded in our mobile phones.