Google Wallet

What is Google Wallet?

  • Google Wallet is a mobile payment system developed by Google that allows its users to store debit cards, credit cards, loyalty cards, and gift cards among other things, as well as redeeming sales promotions on their mobile phone. Google Wallet can use near field communication (NFC) to "make secure payments fast and convenient by simply tapping the phone on any PayPass-enabled terminal at checkout."
    • The service works with the 300,000 plus MasterCard PayPass merchant locations, with Visa licensing their Visa payWave system to Google for use in Wallet as of September 20, 2011.

How Does it Work?

  • The Google Wallet concept banks on a couple of spreading technologies, including smartphones and near-field communication (NFC). NFC is a short-range wireless technology that lends your smartphone all sorts of new capabilities.
    • For instance, you can use an NFC-enabled phone to pay for things, from parking meters and pet supplies to sandwiches and much more. Visit a merchant who's equipped with an NFC checkout system, and with your NFC smartphone you can complete what's called a contactless payment. Tap or wave your phone near the NFC terminal, enter your PIN (personal identification number) and you're done. You don't even need a paper receipt because the store can send an electronic copy directly to your e-mail account.

What are its Strengths and Weaknesses?

  • Strengths
    • Can eliminate the need for a physical wallet or at least significantly reduce its bulk
    • Fast, easy payments
    • Able to clearly and easily see how much money is stored in bank accounts, credit cards, and gift cards
  • Weaknesses
    • Privacy concerns
      • Google stores information about each purchase you make indefinitely including dates, times, amounts, names, and email addresses
    • Security Issues
      • An analysis by security company viaForensics revealed that some card information stored by Google Wallet is still accessible outside of the application. It is suggested that hackers could create a way to intercept data by eavesdropping on Google Analytics, which monitors apps used on the Android OS.


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