We all know that feeling when there’s someone ahead of us in line at the store and pays for one or two products with a freaking credit card that takes too long to confirm and you’re waiting there with a Snickers bar and a bottle of water, thinking of ways to kill the person in front of you.
Waiting won’t be such a big problem in the near future, as Google released an improved version of the Google Wallet, giving its users more freedom and security, the only problem for now is NFC compatible terminals, a problem that can and will be solved in time.
Google was in our lives from the moment we got tangled in the web, with their search services and now with the Google Glass project and the newly improved addition of the Google Wallet which aims to replace our wallets with a virtual one.
If you’re wondering what Google Wallet is and how it works, I can tell you that it’s an highly secure Android app that allows NFC powered smartphones to act as an fast, easy and secure way to pay for your products.
While in a store, all you have to do is select your products and then proceed to the cash register as you would normally, but this time you’ll pay with your phone by tapping it to an NFC enabled terminal and the payment would be complete.
Online shopping gets its share of Google Wallet too, giving you an experience similar to that of PayPal’s services, where you have an account that can hold cards or debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, this account is the same one that operates on your Google Wallet app.
Having second thoughts about the security of Google Wallet? Well, be without fear, as it acts almost as a credit card, meaning that if you don’t have the PIN code you’ve got nothing. It’s even better than a credit card, as it shows no personal data or card numbers in case you lost the phone.
Speaking of losing the phone, users can remotely lock or disable the account from any PC or smartphone that has access to the internet, rendering the lost or stolen phone useless because it wouldn’t have access to your money anymore. Locking the account won’t affect your credit card(s) at all, so you’ll be able to reactivate or create another account in which you can store the same cards.
Security goes even further with Google Wallet, because when you buy via NFC, none of your personal data will be shown on the receipt, only a Google ID or something like that, so you won’t have to worry about theft because Google has taken all the necessary precautions to prevent cyber criminals from reaching your Google Wallet.
For now, Google Wallet is only available for a few merchants in the US, but in time we will see a worldwide expansion of this great feature. You can download Google’s virtual Wallet from the Google Play Market or you can go for the APK, but it might not work for all the NFC enabled devices, as Google Wallet only shows the following as being compatible for now: Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, LG Viper, LG Optimus, HTC EVO 4G and the newly released Asus Nexus 7 tablet.
At this rate, we’ll see smartphones become smarter and smarter, replacing our ID cards, passports, driver’s licenses and other documents and personal data.
I know some of you are skeptical about some of the things that the folks at Google release, thinking of them as services that invade your private data, thinking that your intimacy might be at risk, but try to see the world with an open mind, not wide open, but open, because we’re living in an age of speed, THE age of information and if you let these things skip by you, you’ll be considered outdated, but remember, you always have the freedom of choice so you can choose not to use these services if you think they invade or interfere with your private life.