Google Wallet open for business - and upsetting rivals

Google has unveiled its NFC mobile payment system - Google Wallet - in tandem with partners Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint.

The system means that with your NFC enabled phones (hence the Sprint partnership - it carries the Nexus S in the States) you can pay instantly for your purchases, with the platform in place at more than 124,000 PayPass-enabled merchants in the US and more than 311,000 globally.

“Today, we’ve joined with leaders in the industry to build the next generation of mobile commerce,” said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president, commerce and payments, Google. “With Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint we’re building an open commerce ecosystem that for the first time will make it possible for you to pay with an NFC wallet and redeem consumer promotions all in one tap, while shopping offline.”

You can use multiple cards with Google Wallet, with the option of a prepaid Google cash card to go alongside your Citi group cards, and there's also a loyalty aspect too.

Even PayPal is on board, with Google stating: "At commercial launch, Google Wallet will support payments with two payment solutions: a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard and a virtual Google Prepaid card. Most people who already have a PayPass eligible Citi MasterCard can simply add it to Google Wallet over the air, using First Data’s trusted service manager service."

But hang on, what's this? Oh dear, it's a big fat shiny lawsuit from PayPal - it seems that it isn't on board after all, and is rather miffed at the Big G and a couple of its former employees.

A statement from Amanda Pires, senior director of PayPal global communications read:

"We spend a lot of time and energy creating the things that make PayPal unique and a preferred way to pay for almost 100 million people around the world. We treat PayPal’s 'secrets' seriously, and take it personally when someone else doesn’t. So we made a decision today. We filed a lawsuit against Google and two former colleagues who now work there, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius."

Another high profile tech industry lawsuit - yippee! They're not tedious at all.....

Google Wallet is expected to go live, lawsuits permitting, this summer. You can read PayPal's full lawsuit (PDF form) on the eBay corporate website.