It appears that one of Google's mobile-wallet partners has stolen some of the Web giant's thunder ahead of tomorrow's planned announcement. Google, which is widely expected unveil its long-rumored mobile-payments system on Thursday, will dub the service "Google Wallet," according to what appears to be an internal memo from The Container Store. According to the memo, which was published by Thisismynext.com, the Web giant plans to launch Google Wallet near the end of summer: Google representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google is holding a media event in New York on Thursday in which it is expected to unveil a system that would allow users to pay for retail purchases by holding select Android-based Sprint smartphones up to a specialized reader at checkout counters (point of sales). The service is expected to tap near-field communications technology (NFC), which lets devices exchange information wirelessly with one another over very short distances, about 4 inches. Google reportedly plans to introduce the service initially in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C., as well as partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup to allow the financial giants' customers to use their debit and credit cards to pay for purchase from their Android smartphones. The event is scheduled to be held at Google's New York offices. And it will kick off at 12 p.m. ET. CNET will live-blog the news using the Cover It Live tool. So come back about 20 minutes before the press conference starts to get in on the pre-event chatter and follow the news here as it happens.