We all knew that eventually we would no longer need wallets. One day, payments would be completely digital. No paper, no plastic, no coins. Google has just taken one huge step towards this idea by creating Google Wallet. Google Wallet is an Android app (that has not been released yet) that will eventually be able to store several payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards. However, at launch, Google Wallet will only support Citi Mastercard cards, a Google Prepaid Card, and gift cards “at participating merchants”. Google says that they aim to one day support all credit cards and gift cards. The app uses NFC to send payment information, which means that if you plan on using Google Wallet, the store you are at must have an NFC “PayPass” system and your phone must support NFC.
As mentioned before, Google will support a Google Prepaid Card at launch. Google Prepaid Cards are like MasterCard or Visa gift cards that can be used at any store and you can put any amount of money on them. When you first activate a Google Prepaid Card in the Google Wallet, they will give you $10 to spend. That’s right, you get paid $10 just for trying Google Wallet! You can add to your Google Prepaid Card balance at any time. And because it is a Google Wallet card, you don’t get any plastic card in the mail. Everything on your Google Prepaid Card stays in your Google Wallet.
While adding some cool financial features to Android devices, Google hasn’t forgotten about financial security and peace of mind. All of the data stored in the Google Wallet is stored in a super secure microchip on the phone. The app itself also has a PIN number which has to be entered upon opening the app.
Google Wallet is still in the works and not publicly available yet. Once available, however, would you give it a try? Let us know in the comments!