October 6, 2011 By BJ Cook,

Google Wallet is one of Google’s newest creations has recently gone public for all to try out. This is an amazing innovation in the world of shopping and in-person transactions. Basically Google Wallet is a payment platform, where you wave your NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled cell phone over an NFC card reader and the whole payment process is taken care of in one tap. This removes the need for credit cards and as Google likes to put it “Make[s] your phone your wallet”. This platform also includes shopping history, loyalty cards, offers and allows you to have multiple credit cards within your electronic wallet.
In an ideal world this would be quite a useful tool, and safer than actual credit cards but we don’t live in an ideal world. Here are a few downfalls that Google is working on improving:
  • As of right now there is only one cell phone enabled with the Google Wallet - The Nexus S 4G from Sprint. It was built with the NFC card installed and will be updated with Google Wallet already installed.
  • So far only two credit cards can be used. The first is Citi MasterCard, and the other is a Google Prepaid Credit Card. At least with the Google Prepaid Credit Card you are able to transfer money to the card and do not need to get a new credit card to use Google Wallet.
  • You are limited by the locations where you can use this payment platform. Not every store has an NFC card reader - you might be surprised by how many do - but many mom and pop stores still only accept cash.
  • Not many stores have signed up to give offers or promotions. The “Offers” section within Google Wallet is pretty bare.
  • The “History” section does not provide much information about past shopping location, store, or amount spent. Currently, only displaying the time past purchases.
Google assures they are open to new partnerships and these are just the first steps toward making it the next big thing. More cell phones are now being made with the NFC card. Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s VP of Commerce noted, ”50 percent of smartphones will have NFC built into them by 2014”. More credit cards and banks are signing onto join Google Wallet. With the movement toward these types of payment methods stores and registers will need to be updated and get the equipment to allow their customers to pay however method they choose. Most of these goals will not be realized for a few more years if they actually do catch on at all. Just remember that you heard about Google Wallet from us at Digital Operative first, always at the forefront of technology and commerce.

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