With Google’s introduction of Google Wallet, a partnership with Citi and MasterCard, this may spell the end of cash and plastic cards. Armed with a cell phone and Google’s mobile payment app, Google Wallet, user can make purchases at the register with a swipe of their phone. How it works is simple, customers who’s phones are equipped with a near field communication (NFC) chip will be able to place their phone in front of a payment reader without swiping.
This is where Google Wallet shines, the application has a Citi, MasterCard or a prepaid debit card that you have registered to your account. When customers wave their phones in front of the reader the NFC chip inside the phone initiates a connection with the cash register. The cash register then sends the total amount due to a secure chip inside your phone. That chip sends a signal to your bank through the phone’s antenna requesting a transfer. After the bank receives the transfer and authorizes the transaction the signal is transmitted back to the register and the purchase is complete. This process sounds long and tedious but in reality this occurs in a matter of seconds. Unfortunately only users with Sprint’s Nexus S 4G are able to use Google Wallet.
If your concerned about your data being stolen, Google has covered that too, the NFC chip that is built into your phone can only be utilized when your phone screen is turned on. That means that your data cannot be stolen by hackers while your phone is in your pocket. There is a second secure chip located in your phone that stores all of your authorized credit card information. In order to log into Goggle Wallet and access your data, you must enter your pin that you have created. Google Wallet also times out at an interval that you have set, this process will force you to enter your information again in order to log back into the app.
Google had an initial release with Citi and MasterCard, Visa was recently added. Google also announced that support for Discover, and American Express accounts are coming soon. Also participating stores such as Macy’s, Subway, and Walgreens, will offer electronic coupons, gift cards, and electronic receipts that customers can access right from their cell phones. Google has given a $10 credit to anyone who signed up for more information during the initial release of Google Wallet. Google Wallet is definitely a game changer that you should be on the lookout for over the next couple of months as it expands to other handsets.