As internet technologies advance, devices grow more mobile and convenient. Payment technologies are also advancing toward mobility in the same way. Over the past century, payment methods have changed from cash and coin only to paper checks to credit cards and now, to internet middleman companies.
The ATM, debit and credit cards have served as part of a wonderful, paperless method of payment over the past two decades. Credit cards come in many different forms, allowing customers to borrow money to purchase items and to receive various rewards for making purchases.
Although credit cards are still useful, the next step in payment technology is the ability to use smart phones to purchase items at the checkout. Google has created an app called Google Wallet to serve this purpose.
Google Wallet is a mobile payment device for smart phones that was released on September 19, 2011. The Google Wallet app allows you to tap your smart phone against a terminal when you check out.
The digital wallet allows the user to pay for purchases with gift cards, credit cards and loyalty cards. You can also purchase prepaid Google cards for use on the device.
Google Wallet comes with many benefits that regular wallets do not have, especially when it comes to security. Google Wallet is extremely secure. To link your credit cards to the device, you must type in pin codes and answer various security questions.
You cannot purchase items without entering a pin, so if your phone were to be stolen or lost, no one else could use it to spend your money without knowing your codes.
With credit cards, companies often require that you hand over your card to the cashier, let them check your ID and enter in your information before receiving your card again. If you use Google Wallet, your smart phone never leaves your hands. In addition to being more secure, this helps prevent passing on germs.
Google Wallet also allows you to decide which payment method you want to use without requiring you to have physical cards with you. So, if you forget your loyalty card, you can still receive loyalty discounts.
The best part about Google Wallet is that it is free. It pays for itself by presenting advertisements to users. Google attempts to make the advertisements relevant and helpful to customers by showing them for nearby companies.
Although the convenience of Google Wallet is undeniable, some people may still prefer to use physical credit cards and gift cards. One of the major problems with the Google Wallet app is that it is only available on smart phones.
Smart phones can be very expensive. Most cell phone plans require smart phone users to pay an additional fee for a data plan. The fee is usually ten to thirty dollars a month in addition to the regular fee for minutes and text messages.
Another downside is that it may take a while for Google to put terminals in every store. Many stores will probably be eager to acquire the terminals to provide customers with updated payment options, but it could be a long time before the terminals exist everywhere you shop.
This and your legal obligation to carry a state ID mean that you will still have to carry around a physical wallet, at least for now. Unfortunately, this would negate some of the greatest benefits to using Google Wallet.