The online and offline world of commerce is trying to connect and harmonize when Google officially announced its Google Wallet mobile payment service on Thursday. In their New York City Office, the company, along with Citi, Mastercard, First Data and Sprint gave a demo of Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. The application will make you able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NF). Google engineers said that they are field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon.
Shopping with Google Wallet
Google Wallet aims to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers, by making it easier for buyers and consumers to pay for and save on the goods they want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce. It will also give mobile phone owners the ability to store their credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards in a more convenient way. When they tap to pay, their phones will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points. Google also envisions that this app could also store even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys in the near future.
When Google Wallet launches, it will support Citi® MasterCard®, the Google Prepaid Card and gift cards at participating merchants. It also aims to eventually support all the other payment cards we usually kept in our leather wallet today. The app will give your smartphone some credit, which you can use to tap your phone on a reader to pay with the virtual payment cards in your Google Wallet.
Is Google Wallet Secured?
Google Wallet is designed and engineered to enable safe, secure payments. Its security features can go even beyond what’s possible with traditional wallets and cards. The app requires shoppers 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. The app will store your encrypted payment card credentials on a computer chip on your phone called the Secure Element. Secure Element is like a separate computer, capable of running programs and storing data. The Secure Element is separate from your Android phone’s memory. The chip is designed to only allow trusted programs on the Secure Element itself to access the payment credentials stored therein. Moreover, the secure encryption technology of MasterCard PayPass protects your payment card credentials as they are transferred from the phone to the contactless reader. However, if a phone is lost or stolen, the owner still needs to call his issuing banks to cancel his cards.
Google Wallet will initially be available for the Nexus S 4G, which is the only compatible phone today. However, Google plans to develop the app for more models of smartphones. They also plan to produce NFC stickers to be used on phones without built-in NFC so that the app will also work on non-NFC phones.
Stay tuned for more updates on the newly announced Google Wallet here.