It is very easy to pay with your credit card. You swipe it and sign it and often, you don’t even have to sign. It has reduced the need to carry cash and become a very convenient way to pay.
Then we became used to buying and paying online and now Google has taken payment a step further with the introduction of the Google Wallet.
Wallet is an app name since it functions like a wallet. You don’t swipe and pay anymore the way you would with credit cards. Now, you tap and pay.
Selected phones, iPhones and smart cards will have the new NFC technology with which one can pay for goods and services.
Google Wallet is in essence a mobile payment system. It allows the user to store credit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards on a cell phone.
At the checkout point, the user taps the phone on the reader and the transaction is completed. It makes it a quick and easy payment method. It will reduce lines and speed up the service to the customer.
Mastercard as well as Visa have entered into agreements with Google and both will be used to make payments with.
The phone never leaves your hands as is often the case with credit cards. You remain in control of the device. A credit card is a small item that can be lost, stolen and forgotten. A cell phone is larger and not so easy to lose.
There will be no charge to users and merchants for access to the Wallet. Google will have to make money somehow though and will do this by offering sponsored advertisements to their users.
Initially, the technology will only be available in the US. Other countries will have to wait their turn.
The application will at first just be available on the Sprint Nexus S 4G, which means that unless you have that specific phone, you can’t access the technology. Plans to expand it to selected smart phones and the iPhone 5 are underway.
Although it sounds terrific, it will not immediately be widely used. Many people have basic cell phones not compatible with the NFC technology. This may follow later.
Even though technology is advancing rapidly many people are still mostly using cash. Not all people have credit cards or even qualify for one. Neither are all people using the internet to buy and pay for goods and services although it has been around for some time.
The same applies to the Google Wallet. Not everyone will use it but many people will. It did not take long for the Oyster cards to take hold. These are the cards used to pay for trips on the London Underground and they use technology similar to NFC.
Tapping and paying is just too convenient not to use. As it becomes more widely available on more ordinary and non-Android phones, more people will make use of the facility.
It also depends on how many and how quickly Google partners become available because you can only use the Wallet at a store /facility that has the required reader