Google Wallet arrives

Google has officially launched its mobile payment application, Google Wallet on Monday 19th September. Even though, it was introduced in May, it really went live on Monday. With Google Wallet, you can say goodbye to jam-packed wallets. You will never have to carry your credit cards; you just need your smartphone for all your payments.

Google Wallet is a mobile payment application which is based on Near FieldCommunication (NFC) technology. All you need is to connect your credit card/prepaid card to Google Wallet and make payments using your cell phone. Use your phones other than swiping your credit cards; it is as simple as that. It works with any kind of Pay Pass merchants. Imagine you are in a taxi and you have to make your payment, all you need is to tap your phone and the payment is made.
Google Wallet
See how it works

Google Wallet is currently available in New York and San Francisco. The only compatible handset is Samsung Nexus S 4G. All cards are not compatible with Google Wallet; right now it supports only Citi-MasterCards and the Google Prepaid Card. American Express, Visa and Discover has announced their agreement with Google, so more cards will be available soon. Google has also announced more handset support and the expansion of service to other cities as well.
The main issues that pop up related to Google Wallet will be about security and privacy. NFC is a proven technology and Google has added an additional security layer to it. So security is more or less guaranteed and Google is working more on it. In case if your phone is with someone else, he/she won’t be able to access Google Wallet without your secret code. Next is the privacy issue, Will Google track what you are buying? Not really, Google will only have a list of amount you have spent and also the location, both of which will be accessible to you only.

All in all it is a good idea to not having to carry around your wallet and credit cards. But is Google alone in this field? Not at all, NFC is a highly competitive market; Visa has been working on its own mobile Wallet apps for some time now. American Express and PayPal will join soon. But the real question is, Will it wipe out wallets from our pockets? No, not by any means, it may have some effect on how credit cards are used but not on wallets. For example, imagine you are at a restaurant with your friends; you want to buy a particular dish on equal shares. Then what will you do? Another instance, What if your phone is lost? No phone, no money; you are doomed.

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