Google Wallet was officially launched on Monday, but it looks like the full app won't be available to download until Friday. The mobile payment app was to be installed via an over-the-air update, originally to be completed by tonight. But now a Google spokeswoman has confirmed by email with Computerworld that the downloads won't complete until Friday evening.
That means we won't be able to put Google Wallet to the test until the weekend. And even then, the mobile payment app will only be available for one handset model---the Nexus S 4G on the nation's third largest carrier and Google's launch partner when the service was first announced back in May. This makes for a very limited pool of initial testers.
These lucky few will get to take advantage of the NFC chips inside their Nexus S 4G handsets to make some rapid purchases at the checkout line. Payments are linked to a Citi MasterCard or to Google's PrePaid card, which can be funded by almost any credit card such as Visa, American Express, and Discover. Checkout then involves only a single tap of the Nexus S 4G on an NFC-equipped terminal.
There have been talks that Google could extend the Wallet service to other NFC-equipped phones through the use of NFC stickers, but that's looking less likely now. Reports from earlier today suggest that issues having to do with security could bar NFC stickers as any option.