Similar to PayPal, Google Wallet is a “smart, virtual wallet for in-store and online shopping” according to Google.
Google Wallet can be easily used in many stores using “PayPass,” a payment method used by tapping the device or by providing a signature.
In 2011, Google created what is known as the Google Wallet, but because Google Wallet only worked with Citibank and MasterCard, it wasn’t until 2013 did Google Wallet really made itself known by adding other credit providers, such as Discover, Visa, and American Express. Though there have been some allegations that American Express never agreed to partner with Google.
Google Wallet has added another popular feature by allowing users to upload various gift cards onto their Google Wallet.
But for many UVU students, like Tyler Ashcraft, Google Wallet remains a mystery. When asked whether Google Wallet would be a good replacement for individual credit cards, he disagreed.
“I think it’d be a cool idea, but [it] sounds like it’d be too sketchy right now, and it would be a lot easier for fraud.” Ashcraft said.
However “sketchy” Google Wallet may be, Google offers purchase protection, which covers 100 percent of all transactions if they are reported within 180 days of the offense. Google has also implemented a fraud surveillance system for the Google Wallet running 24/7 to protect users.
Jill Duffy, a writer and software analyst and Ted Talks participant, agreed that Google Wallet may or may not be the safest option, but she stated it’s a personal preference on security.
“If you value security and privacy, you might not want to use Google Wallet or any credit card really,” Duffy said, “as the companies that support your credit cards can see what you purchase, when, and where.”
Google Wallet is now available for most android NFC (near field communication) phones. According to Google, this also includes Android tablets.
Unfortunately for many, Google Wallet is not (and probably never) be supported by the iPhone.
“Google Wallet only works with NFC-enabled phones. IPhones don’t have NFC,” Duffy said.
Not only is Google Wallet not supported by the iPhone, but Google Wallet also cannot make international purchases.
Ashcraft believes this may be due to politics rather, than fights against fraudulent charges.
“I feel like [its] …trying to promote and keep online shopping in America,” Ashcraft said. “Because of all the new online business policies.”
According to Google, services are only available in certain countries. Google plans on expanding support to more phones and additional card issuers, but for now the Google Wallet mobile app is only available for users with eligible phones in the US.