Google Wallet Just Killed Your Wallet

Google Wallet at Register

Will you be using Google Wallet a year from now?

This is huge.  Leave the wallet at home. This summer you will be able to make purchases at the point of sale using nothing but your smart phone.

Google, first on the scene with this new technology, just announced Google Wallet, a free smart phone app that will allow you to pay at the register or gas pump with your phone.

The goal of Google Wallet is to eventually replace your wallet in every facet: coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards, and all of your credit cards. I suspect the only thing you’ll be carrying around is your driver’s license.

How Google Wallet Works

Google Wallet is using something called NFC (Near Field Communication), which requires a special chip in the phone (which explains why only Google’s Nexus S 4G can use this app initially). You’ve seen the NFC receivers before at the register.

Many credit card companies have been using this payment technology with a little, wave-able token device thing-y connected to your credit card. You’ve seen it on a few key chains. This uses the same technology, but puts the device in your phone.

At launch, Google Wallet will have the capability to be connected to your Citi MasterCard. Right now Citi and MasterCard are the only two companies from the credit card world on-board. But you can bet that Visa, American Express, Discover, and Chase will all be jumping in once this takes off. Google has acknowledged that they are going to work with as many companies as possible.

I’m an iPhone user, so the first thing I want to know is when can I get this for my iPhone. Well, this technology requires a NFC chip, which the iPhone currently does not have. Maybe in the iPhone 5? Google has also mentioned in their FAQ section that they are open to using Google Wallet across all phone and providers.

Be the First to Use Google Wallet

Google Wallet launches this summer. Here are the steps to use Google Wallet with your Nexus S 4G:

  1. Download the free Google Wallet App
  2. Add your credit card details
  3. Assign a security PIN for purchases
  4. Visit a participating location (many in my area)
  5. Simply tap your phone to the receiver to pay

Eventually Google will begin integrating their Wallet app with Google Offers (a Groupon-like service) so that you receive coupons and incentives at the merchants where you are using your phone to pay. I’m not big on this integration, but I know that’s why Google is pushing this technology forward, and why the merchants will be jumping on-board. If this helps push the technology forward faster, then I can deal with it.

Cards that Work with Google Wallet

  • Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® MasterCard® – Limited Time Offer
  • Citi ThankYou(SM) Preferred Card
  • Citi ThankYou(SM) Premier Card
  • Citi® Gold/AAdvantage® World MasterCard®

My Thoughts on Google Wallet

Overall, I’m excited at this announcement. Google, MasterCard, and Sprint are kicking off something that’s going to be our future. I like that Google isn’t trying to limit which credit cards and mobile providers can participate. I’ll be excited to use this technology with my next phone.

What about you? What do you think of Google Wallet and the future of paying for things with your smart phone?



Last Edited: February 15, 2012 @ 9:39 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. 20 and Engaged says:

    I think it’s been a long time coming. Sometimes I just want to have my phone with me, not my entire wallet, using different cards. But there’s also some safety concerns as well, especially with identity theft and how often people lose their phones

    • I agree. Plenty of safety issues to handle, especially if debit cards are ever brought into the phone. One cool thing about these NFC chips is that they self-destruct when tampered with…James Bond type stuff.

  2. Hi PT,

    This would be a no-no for me!! They just want us to buy everything in sight!!
    and pay and pay and pay with all our might!!

    Maybe I’m silly – but at least I have control…..if my cc is in my drawer at home

  3. This google wallet will give a lot of convenience…to convenient that some people will spend easily special those without control.

  4. “wave-able token device thing-y”. Is that technical jargon? :-) I think it’s nifty, and great that they don’t want to limit it, but Google is taking over everything. That’s kinda scary…

  5. Another vote here for not liking this! Google controls too much, especially all our personal information. it would blow people’s minds if they knew what Google has in the fine print for their products. However, their products are amazing, so i can see why people are ok with the privacy invasion. As for the cell phone wallet, I would never do that. More and more I’m rebelling against digital forms of documentation and payment. Paper trumps at the ends of the day.

    • Never say never (except in the case of “New Coke”). ;)
      One thing is for sure, smart phones are literally “revolutionizing” everything, including foreign countries.

  6. Interesting concept. I am an iPhone user so not yet for me. Looks like everything will be done from our smart phones. Coupons, credit cards, check deposits, reservations, and boarding passes!

  7. I already use my smartphone in lieu of an airline ticket — I simply scan the QR code at the security line and again at the gate. It’s only a matter of time before my smartphone is also the new way to pay!

  8. I just got the Nexus S over the weekend (my palm pre crapped out on me). I haven’t decided if I am going to use google wallet yet, but I am leaning that way. If I use it, I’ll let you all know how it works…

    • Thanks, Brian. If you haven’t already, you can sign up at the Google Wallet site to be notified when the app is available. That way you can be one of the first to download it. I would certainly appreciate any feedback you have on it if and when you decide to try it out. Thanks!