Get Google Wallet!
With Google Wallet, you can make payments anywhere, provided you have a MasterCard or a Google Prepaid Card. Despite some restrictions, the free app for Android still impresses us with its ahead-of-the-curve function.
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Wallet is one of those Google projects that is perhaps a bit ahead of its time—but it’s tough to fault it for being innovative.
As the name suggests, the Google Wallet aims to do away with your physical wallet, or at least the bulk of what you keep inside your wallet: credit cards, debit cards and cash. The app is, of course, pin-code protected to ease concerns of security. So leaving your cell phone in a cab with Google Wallet installed won’t be any worse than leaving your cell phone in a cab without the mobile-money app installed.
Google Wallet makes use of PayPass, the flat, plastic additions at the top of credit-card readers you may recognize from grocery stores or the backs of cabs. Instead of introducing a new, proprietary hardware, Google has wisely chosen to make use of a technology that is already well on its way to being commonplace. Just place your phone against the PayPass panel and your transaction is complete.
This is a great idea in concept and one that will likely take hold in the years to come. For now, though, Wallet is limited. Google developed the app with Citi MasterCard, so unless you have a MasterCard, you won’t be able to link your debit and credit cards directly to the app. You can, however, load up a Prepaid Google Card using any source of funds. This extra step can be cumbersome, though, especially if you forget to keep your card full. Additionally, Wallet is only available on the newest phones with the most recent Android OS: version 2.3.7 or higher is required for installation.
Google plans to integrate boarding passes, transit cards and other important disposable documents into the mobile-payment app. For now, its features and accessibility are limited, but it’s still an awesome, innovative app that will help lead us into the future of finance management.
Reviewed: Jan 09, 2012 | Nick HurwitchAlso featured on: 6 Virtual-Wallet Apps Worth Trying
This app is included in a scenario called Must-Have Android Apps of 2011