Monday, September 19, 2011

The New Google Wallet

With the lunch of Google Wallet, the way we transact and make payment would change from plastic cards to phone wallets.

The way we pay has changed three times - from coins, to paper money, to plastic cards and now to phone wallet.

The Google Wallet is an Android app that makes a phone your wallet. It stores virtual versions of existing plastic cards on phone. Simply by tapping on the phone to pay and redeem offers using Near Field Communication (NFC).

The NFC allows for simplified transactions, data exchange, and wireless connections between two devices in close proximity to each other, usually by no more than a few centimeters.

Google Wallet was designed for an open commerce ecosystem. It would eventually hold many if not all of the cards that users keep in their leather wallet.

Google Wallet being a mobile application, would do more than a regular wallet, like storing thousands of payment cards and Google Offers but without the bulk.

With the use of the Google Wallet, users would be able to sync their loyalty cards, gift cards, receipts, boarding passes, tickets, even their keys seamlessly.

The use of Google Wallet would change the future of commerce by enabling users use their Citi MasterCard cards and the Google Prepaid Card which it supports for now, by tapping to pay at hundreds of thousands of merchants.

According to Google, “the Google Wallet would be compatible with Nexus S 4G. Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones. This is just the beginning, but we believe that, in time, your phone with Google Wallet will be the one thing that holds everything you need to carry”.

Google added, “We aim to eventually support all the payment cards you keep in your leather wallet today. So the only plastic you'll need is your phone”.

To make payment using Google Wallet, users would simply tap their phone to pay with their Citi MasterCard or the Google Prepaid Card.

This is carried out by users' loading their smartphone with some credit and tapping the phone to pay with the virtual credit cards stored on the Google Wallet.

Google Wallet is designed and engineered to enable safe, secure payments. According to Google, “the security features go beyond what’s possible with traditional wallets and cards. Stay safe with the Google Wallet PIN and with secure underlying technology. A locked wallet is a safer wallet”.

The Google Wallet requires users to set up a Google Wallet PIN that must be entered before making a purchase. This PIN prevents unauthorized access and payments via Google Wallet. Android phones also feature a separate lock screen.

Google Wallet and MasterCard PayPass provide many layers of security. Google Wallet stores users' encrypted payment card credentials on a computer chip on their phone called the Secure Element.

The Secure Element is capable of running programs and storing data and separated from the phone's memory. The chip is designed to only allow trusted programs on the Secure Element itself to access the payment credentials stored therein.

The secure encryption technology of MasterCard PayPass protects users’ payment card credentials as they are transferred from the phone to the contact less reader.

When the device is misplaced or stolen, Google urges users to call their issuing banks to cancel their cards, even though the Google Wallet PIN and Secure Element protect their payment card information.