In a society where convenience is in demand, Google has answered the call. A few weeks ago Google released the mobile payment system Google Wallet. The next generation wallet uses NFC Technology (Near Field Communication), and integrates major credit cards such as Citi-MasterCard and the Google Prepaid Card. An agreement between Google and Visa has also allowed for the emergence of the Visa Paywave App. This app allows the user to swipe their phone to make a purchase. As of right now the Google Wallet is only available for Android and on the Sprint Nexus S 4G. Some obvious privacy concerns have hindered buy in to Google Wallet, but as Google continues to make changes, the public should start to give it another look.
According to Mashable.com, Google does not know specifics about what is purchased with the Google Wallet. Google only records local transactions on the phone and can only identify the amount and location for which the item was purchased. As of right now, when you make an in store purchase you still have to wait for a printed receipt. Out of store receipts are stored on your smart phone. One of the many changes Google is looking to make is to create a more advanced receipt system that saves the receipt directly to your phone.
Not only will the Google Wallet save your transactions in one convenient place, but the new Google Offers application helps to save you some money as well. The app saves coupons directly to the Google Wallet, applies savings to your purchase when you choose to use them, and also credits your loyalty card (if applicable) for that store. This app makes it simple to browse for deals right from your phone.
According to PCMag.com, Google Wallet has just recently expanded its discounts by forming partnerships with American Eagle Outfitters, The Container Store, Foot Locker, Guess, Jamba Juice, Macy’s, OfficeMax and Toys“R“Us. Google is also working on an agreement with companies like Chevron, D’Agostino, and Subway. As the deals continue to grow, so will the user’s interest in the Google Wallet.
Google Wallet Paves the way for a Digital Future
With Google leading the way, other companies such as MasterCard and Microsoft have suggested potential options for their future as well. A MasterCard prototype integrates Xbox Kinect technology that will allow you to order food or even buy products right from your couch. This speculative application (QkR) reads QR codes right off the television screen, and responds with an option screen that will allow you to purchase the item. It identifies the product in a way similar to the popular song recognition app, Shazam.
NFC Technology is relatively new and for most products it is still a work in progress. The Google Wallet is one of the first to put this technology into production, and besides a few questions regarding privacy, we think it looks very cool.