Google Wallet

Published: 01/04/2016 - Updated: 23/06/2016 - Tags: Payment Methods

Google Wallet is a peer to peer payment system that allows users to transfer funds at no cost to either the sender of the receiver. The service functions by drawing from connected debit cards and checking accounts.

Google Wallet Logo

Google Wallet has recently added an update to support Near Field Communication (NFC). This allows for users to make a payment at a point of sale or directly from user to user via a smartphone or tablet. Google Wallet users may also transfer funds using the mobile app or Gmail. The Google Wallet app is available in both the Google Play and Apple app stores.

Google Wallet Security

Secure, encrypted servers have been put in place by Google to protect users’ transactions. Google Wallet also requires users to verify each transaction by entering their PIN. Google recommends that users also implement a strong password on their device of choice to further protect their Google Wallet accounts.

Google Wallet History

Google unveiled the original version of the Google Wallet service at a press conference on the 26th of May, 2011. The first application was released in the United States only on the 19th of September, 2011.

Business Model

Google does not charge customers for using Google Wallet. Sending and receiving money is free. Funds sent to another from a Wallet balance, debit card, or linked bank account are generally available in real time. Google does not have revenue coming in from its Wallet ecosystem. Google Wallet is part of a larger suite of e-commerce products, including Android Pay.

Google Wallet Card

Google Wallet also offers a physical card that users can utilize to make purchases funded by their Google Wallet balance. The primary use for this card is to allow users to make purchases at retail locations that do not currently support NFC technology.

Privacy Concerns & Policies

A number of privacy concerns have risen from Google’s storage of the sensitive financial information of its users. However, Google’s privacy policy states that this information is only available to Google apart from special circumstances.

Criticism of Google Wallet

Security company NowSecure conducted a safety audit of Google Wallet and found that hackers may be able to intercept Google Wallet details by listening in on activity conducted by Google Analytics. Google has since fixed this bug, but some remain skeptical as to the safety of this particular payment method.

Legal: PayPal vs. Google Wallet

Shortly after the announcement of Google Wallet in 2011, PayPal filed suit against Google. The lawsuit claimed that two former PayPal employees illegally disclosed trade secrets in a breach of fiduciary duty. The case ended with Google settling the suit and hiring the PayPal executive involved in negotiating the deal between the two electronic payment giants.

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