It has been 96 hours (give or take) since the Google's announcement that rocked the mobile payment space. During that time, I read literally dozens of news reports and blog posts to help me understand what this announcement really means. Incidentally, I found a great article that explains how this partnership will work.
Here is my take.
The embedded NFC chip in phones is the most exciting part of the announcement. In order to get mobile payments off the ground, NFC chips must be embedded in phones (unless we all want a sticker on our phone - ugh!). We got step closer with the Google announcement and will now wait for Apple's inevitable announcement on the same point.
Google got their mobile payment architecture right. The focus on existing providers (i.e. MasterCard, Citi, First Data) is the way to go. Reinventing the payment verification and settlement process is not smart and Google avoided that.
Vendors can now start innovating. The embedded NFC chip and associated standards will do for mobile payments what the embedded camera did for mobile deposit. It gives an innovative vendor the opportunity to take advantage of a technology well integrated in a mobile device. The winner here is not Google (from a mobile payments perspective at least), but instead the next "Mitek Systems" that will take that embedded chip to develop a mobile payments service.