Friday, May 18, 2012

Google Wallet Makes Wallets A Thing Of The Past

In an effort to continually expand their market Google has developed Google Wallet, a cell phone app that turns your cellphone into a wallet. Currently the app only works only for the Sprint network and Nexus phone, however, Google seems poised to expand this, as Cnet has reported LG Optimus Elite Gains Access to the Google Wallet App. The app integrates bank and credit card accounts, namely Citi, MasterCard and Google Prepaid to be purchase items through stores offering Mastercard PayPass. It also allows savings via coupons earned through Google. Though locations and devices are currently limited, Google and other major companies in the financial, telecommunications, and retail industry seem ready to push forward with similar capabilities. Visa recently came to an agreement with the European Company Vodafone which would allow users in Europe to have similar capabilities to the Google Wallet. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have also announced a joint venture with Chase, Barclays and Capitol One called Isis which will be those companies' version of the Google Wallet. The technology that makes all this possible is referred to NFC, Near Field Communication  and most major phone carriers have committed to installing the chips into their cellphones in the near future. Not only would something like this permit you to use your phone at terminals accepting it, it would also allow money to be transferred from person to person via mobile devices with the built in chip set. Google pledges that the Google Wallet will be safer than a wallet by requiring passwords and never revealing any personal information on the screen and encryption to block any would be hackers. I myself would like to see this feature integrated with other financial institutions and more touch pay terminals, however, in effort to simplify finances I think the Google Wallet and others will likely complicate the market even more.    

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