Google Wallet to arrive in UK before 2012 Olympics?

The search giant is in talks with companies to bring NFC payments to the UK in time for next summer's Olympics.

Google Wallet -- the system that lets you pay for goods and services by tapping your phone on a reader -- could well arrive in the UK before next summer's Olympics, according to rumours.

The search giant is reportedly in talks with UK companies to bring NFC trials to the UK early next year, IT Pro reports, hinting a launch isn't far off for us Brits.

Google is apparently talking to retailers, distributors and banks about the trials. So we could see sensors springing up all over the Olympic Village, letting you pay for souvenirs, snacks, gifts and more by tapping your Android phone on a reader, just like swiping an Oyster card to get on the underground. It works in conjunction with Google Offers, which lets you save money by downloading coupons to your phone.

If true, it'll be the first time Wallet will open outside the US, where it launched in May . It was initially for a select few, but opened for the general public in September, similar to Google Plus .

At the moment the closest we have in Blighty is Barclaycard's contactless credit card and Orange's UK Wallet, both of which are thought to ramp up before next summer. It's nothing new for us to be kept waiting for Google's latest and greatest. We're still longing for Google Music and Google Movies. The Olympics could well kickstart Google into bringing Wallet here soon.

The software has sparked security fears though. Our sister site CNET News recently reported Wallet doesn't encrypt your whole credit card number, balance and other information, potentially leaving your data open to theft. "The amount of data that Google Wallet stores unencrypted on the device is significant," research firm ViaForencsics said. Resetting the software also gives up key details, so it advises a complete reset of your handset if you're going to sell it after using Wallet.

If you're interested in other Olympic tech, have a gander at our behind-the-scenes look .

Would you like the option of paying for things using your phone? Are you worried about the security issues? And is the Olympics the right place for such tech? Let us know your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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