But according to French daily newspaper Les Echos (a reliable source if ever we've had one), Google's NFC-based payment system is soon to make the leap across the pond, landing in Blighty ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Google Wallet is a system of cardless payment that works with your smartphone, replacing other methods of payment like cash, cards and Oysters. Available on enabled phones which pack NFC (Near Field Communications) technology, payments can be made by holding the handset up to a shop's receiver, much in the same way Londoners use Oyster Cards on public transport. According to Les Echos, Google are hard at work with banks and retailers to get the system ready for use by March next year.
NFC-enabled phones are already creeping into circulation in the UK (despite the lack of widespread current support for the technology). The first phone to boast the tech was the Samsung Nexus S, which appeared almost a year ago in December 2010, and since then NFC has cropped up on further handsets from Samsung, Nokia and BlackBerry, with Apple also persistantly rumoured to be including it in the iPhone 5.