Google Wallet debuts in the United States today and with that Google ushers in a whole new segment of functionality in the already populated long list of Smartphones. It amazes me sometimes what Smartphones and Gadgets have achieved to and are capable of doing. Based on NFC (Near Field Communication) Google Wallet has the potential to completely eliminate the need of Wallet and Credit Cards while you make any Transaction.
What is Google Wallet :
NFC technology allows exchange of data between digital devices without the need of establishing a connection between them manually. Unlike Bluetooth which is also a short range data transfer technology NFC’s are quicker in setting up a connection and it does so automatically by taking it closer to another device.
What Google is trying to do with NFC is that it is trying to convert your Smart-Phone into a credit card which can easily make transactions with a compatible Card Reader. Consider your phone as Credit card and the reader as the swipe machine.
Starting today user all over United States can now pay using their Google Nexus S 4G on the Sprint service. The Google Wallet is available as a software update which users can download as an OTA update and start paying from now. Google is also offering a $ 10 credit as an introductory offer till the end of the year.
How Does Google Wallet Work :
The Google Wallet App is ultra fast and extremely intuitive. You do not even have to launch the App manually when making any payment. Whenever you take your phone closer to any reader just Tap the screen, enter the PIN and make your payment. Also there are a significant number of stores which support this new mode.
Currently Google Wallet supports only one third party card i.e The City MasterCard. But Google has already sought a solution to it by introducing Google Pre-Paid card where you can add credits using any other credit card. Google has also announced that it will roll out support for Visa, Discover, and AmEx in future releases.
Google Wallet App :
The Google Wallet App was released for download last night for Nexus S 4G. The App is made with extreme brilliance and is very easy to operate on.
It namely has four different sections :
- Payment Cards : It displays all cards synchronized with Google Wallet.
- Loyalty Cards : It is like payment cards but for those stores you frequent to redeem offers.
- My Offers : Notifies all the offers you have bought by doing transactions with various stores.
- History : As the name suggests it displays History of your transactions and this sections will be revamped very soon by Google as they couldn’t give the finishing touches on time for release.
Google Wallet may not be that a big step right now but it has the potential to completely replace Wallet and Credit cards. We can expect that in future almost all transactions will be made by such digital devices, eliminating the risks and enhancing security.
It needs you to enter PIN to make any transactions and once entered it will be active for 30 minutes unless you lock it manually. When your screen is locked the transmitter chip does not send or stores any data and hence making any hacks difficult. This makes Google Wallet even more secure than the real plastic cards.
Well although it is very promising and a step forward we cannot expect it to create that much impact in present as there are still alot of improvements to be done. Do carry your wallet for now as you don’t want to be stuck anywhere if your battery dries up.