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5 things you should know about using Google Wallet

The Google Wallet concept is simple: give your smartphone the ability to replace your wallet. Eliminate the need for cash, plastic, and rewards cards when shopping

google wallet

google wallet

Google Wallet – next gen mobile payment system

Google Wallet is a mobile payment system designed to store credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and coupons, all in one place; allowing you to access them quickly when you need them. Using Near Field Communication (NFC), Android users can “tap and pay” at any MasterCard PayPass enabled terminal.

Since Google Wallet recently no longer requires the use of NFC, although it is still an option, coupled with added support for iOS it has become infinitely more functional. What do you need to know about it and why does it matter?

Here are the top five things entrepreneurs should know about Google Wallet and why it matters for business:

1. Set up

Setting up Google Wallet is not difficult, but there are a few things you need to do. Currently, the app can the used with Android devices (2.3 and higher) and iOS devices (iOS 6 or higher). The first time you open the app you will be asked to sign into your Google account and create a unique PIN for future access. For iOS, you will be asked to grant permission to contacts, location, and notifications, as well. Then Google will send you’re an email confirming you have activated Google Wallet.

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Once you have signed in, you will need to connect your desired payment methods. You can link bank accounts or credit/debit cards. You will also be able to see your Wallet balance, offers, loyalty programs, and transaction history, from the app home page.

2. Storing cards

You can store not only debit/credit cards, but also that wallet-full of loyalty cards as well. Now you can link your grocery store, gasoline, and movie theater rewards to your Google Wallet and stop carrying that pocket of plastic loyalty tags. You can also add merchant gift cards, avoiding the scramble to find the card when you finally make it to the store to use it.

Google Wallet is all about convenience: adding a new card can be done securely from the app, or the web site. If you are using NFC, you will want to set the card you use the most to “default,” so that when you tap-to-pay it will always be the one in use. To do this, tap the “select card” button below the card you want and you will see a green “selected card” icon below it. You can change this setting at any time.

3. Sending money via your phone to anyone with an email address

How many times have you wished you could instantly hand someone money? An employee that forgets the company credit card when they go out to purchase office supplies, or neglects to take the card when taking a client for dinner; many instances like this are not only inconvenient but cost you money.

With Google Wallet, you can send someone money with two taps of your phone. But before you can send money, you will need to verify your identity with Google. You can do this by tapping “send money” and then “verify your identity” on the bottom of the page.

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4. Digital receipts let you know right away if someone has stolen your credit card

Digital receipts are another feature of Google Wallet. With most banks having fraud alert programs in place, where you can receive an email or text when you card is used, this is not new, but Google Wallet makes it easy to set up. It works like this: let’s say you are at a business conference in San Francisco and someone lifts your credit card information and then buys a stereo in Los Angeles.

Without alerts, you may be waiting up to thirty days for your credit card bill to arrive to notice the fraudulent charge; with Digital Receipts you know in seconds. You can see every purchase you have made with Google Wallet. If you see something suspicious, you can call your credit card company and alert them immediately. Saving you money and preserving your credit score.

5. Security

Anxious about security? It is hard not to be. Google’s response to the possibility of someone getting close to your phone to read sensitive data, is, “The NFC antenna in your phone is only activated when the screen is powered on, and even if the antenna is on and in proximity of a reader, payment credentials can only be transmitted from the Secure Element to a payment terminal if you first enter your Google Wallet PIN.” So, unless someone can bypass the PIN feature, you are as safe as you are with any other information you submit over the Internet on a daily basis.

Also, free Google Wallet Purchase Protection covers 100% of eligible unauthorized Google Wallet transactions reported within 180 days of purchase. Google Wallet uses a dual-PIN system not only to unlock the phone, but also to make the purchase by activating the NFC chip when in range. There is also encryption technology in place to protect your card information as it passes to the merchant’s station. And if you lose your phone, you can disable and delete all information in your Wallet from any device. So you do not have to worry about someone getting all your information.

Using Google Wallet is free and can be downloaded from the Play Store and the App Store. However, if you send money to someone via credit or debit card there is a transaction fee (2.9% with a minimum $0.30 fee), otherwise you are free to send and receive money as often as you would like with no charge.

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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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