Being the tech lover that I am, I enjoy using all of my phone’s features. One of the features I enjoy most is using Google Wallet to make payments directly from my phone. Many of you have used or have seen credit cards where you can tap the terminal with the card rather than swiping to make your payments. Well, thanks to Google Wallet and NFC, I can do the same thing with my phone!
Google Wallet is an app that allows you to store credit and debit card information for the purpose of making payments with your phone. Google allows you to enter multiple cards and they accept all major credit cards. They have teamed up with Office Max, Guess and other companies so you can use your rewards cards and they also have special offers at local participating businesses.
Entering and storing your cards is safe and easy. Once you securely store your debit or credit card information you are all set to go. Google Wallet uses NFC technology to transmit data to the terminal and authorize the payments. Your phone must have NFC in order to use this feature.
The number of businesses that accept this type of payment is growing. I have personally made payments at CVS, RadioShack, Home Depot and more. It is very convenient because I no longer have to pull out my credit or debit card to make payments. I can store more than one card so there is no problem if I leave my wallet at home.
Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a chip that is put into phones which allows you to transfer data to other NFC enabled devices by placing the devices close to each other. It allows you to transfer many types of files and data including photos, contact information music, videos and even gives you the ability to set and accept commands using NFC tags. For mobile payments, It transfers your credit/debit card information directly to the checkout terminal which accepts it as your form of payment.
The WOW Factor
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that I love to see people’s response when I use it. The cashier at Rite Aid was surprised saying, “Wow! That’s what phones are doing now?” At McDonald’s, I was told, “What was that?! I didn’t know phones could do that.” My favorite response was at Home Depot when the cashier asked me, “Oh, you fancy huh?” My response….Yes!
Is This The New Trend?
Until recently, manufacturers have been slow in incorporating NFC chips in their devices. Now more high end and mid range devices are being equipped with NFC chips. Some of the phones that have this technology are the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S 3, Nokia Pureview 808, HTC ONE X, EVO 4G LTE, Blackberry Bold 9790 and more. Google is leading this push for mobile payments but others are joining in.
Sprint is the only major network to partner with Google Wallet. However, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon has partnered with Isis Mobile who is developing a Wallet similar to Google’s. They are planning a pilot program in salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas but has experienced some delays. If they get the program up and running soon, all four major U.S. carriers will have mobile payments available on their network.
The iPhone Effect
There was speculation before the release of the iPhone 5 that it would come with an NFC chip. Many analysts said that NFC technology and mobile payments would take off if it was adopted by Apple and its record setting iPhone. We now know that Apple went in a different direction. They decided to go with Passbook, which is not a mobile payments system. Like always, if the trend continues to grow, you will see NFC in a future iPhone.
I am completely on-board with mobile payments. There is nothing hard or difficult about it. Just enter your card information on a Google Wallet supported device and you’re ready to pay at checkout with your phone. Right now there is steady progress with this technology but I am sure it will pick up soon. Here are a few more features for you to consider:
- Unlike your leather wallet, Google Wallet is password protected.
- If your phone is lost or stolen, you can disable your mobile wallet from the web.
- Shop faster, smarter and safer, in stores…
- and online, you can pay online via Google Wallet which saves you time.
- Receive local offers and deals just for using Google Wallet.