While it's now common in countries like Japan to pay for things using your phone, the U.S. has lagged behind in this department. But Google aims to change all that with Google Wallet, as introduced by your favorite New York neurotic, Seinfeld's George Costanza.
Launching with the slogan "Make your phone your wallet," Google Wallet allows you to use your phone, employing near field communication (NFC), to digitally pay for goods and services with just a tap of your phone at merchants displaying the MasterCard PayPass symbol. In addition to convenience, the service will also offer special discounts and deals. Google Wallet is rolling out with a select number of merchants such as RadioShack, DuaneReade, CVS, Subway, Foot Locker and others, but for now you'll need to have the Nexus S 4G phone on Sprint to actually use the service.
Some have criticized the limited offering, especially with solutions like Square already out there, but this is nevertheless a good start. Unlike some other Google launches, it looks like they got this one right by harnessing the skills of the hilariously inept Costanza (Jason Alexander) to introduce mainstream non-geeks to a new way of digital commerce. You can check out the full commercial below.