Google Wallet–Will the Smartphone Replace the Credit Card

Having conquered everything from search engines to maps to cell phones, Google has now focused its collective attention on your billfold. Called simply enough, Google Wallet, the latest technology to come out of the Googleplex is looking to change the way we pay for just about everything.

How Google Wallet Works

Google’s new technology seeks to replace credit and prepaid cards with your phone. So instead of pulling out a credit card to pay for your Starbucks coffee, you’ll simply wave your phone over a PayPass device that will automatically charge your purchase to your card. At the moment Google Wallet only works with Citi MasterCards, but Visa, Discover and American Express will be joining the fun soon. If you don’t have a Citi MasterCard, you can get a Google virtual prepaid card to use with Google Wallet. And the prepaid card can be loaded with any credit card.

In addition to paying for stuff, Google Wallet also keeps track of and syncs with Google Offers. These offers represent discounts and sales at various merchants offered by Google. And when you want to use a Google Offer, you can do so with a wave of your phone.


Now there are some significant limitations at present. First, Google Wallet only works with the Sprint Nexus S 4G smartphone. It will no doubt be available will other phones soon. Second, not every retailer accepts Google Wallet. You can find merchants near you that do with a map tool available on the Google Wallet website.

Finally, Google has taken steps to secure its virtual wallet. The software requires you to enter a four digit PIN that you set up. As a result, if your phone is ever lost or stolen, your Google Wallet should be protected.

Your Take on Google Wallet

So my question is what your think about this new technology? Are you ready to give your wallet over to Mr. Google? And finally, I’ll leave you with a funny commercial that Google and Seinfeld put together:

Published or Updated: March 22, 2012
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.


  1. Devin says:

    Is the Google Wallet account # 666?

    • DR says:

      Devin, you ask a question that not everybody will understand. So to make sure we are all on the same page–

      Some Christians believe that a cashless society is a sign of the end times as depicted in the Book of Revelation. The number 666 is a reference to the number assigned to the Beast in Revelation 13:17–18, although some early Greek manuscripts actually record the number as 616.

      Interestingly, several people left similar comments to the YouTube video review I made of Google Wallet (see first video above). My own personal opinion is that such interpretations of Scripture or more fantasy than anything else. But I’d be curious as to what others think.

  2. rob says:

    great post, I think this is the next step in personal banking, Can’t wait to see it in action in the UK

    • DR says:

      Rob, I agree. I’m just surprised that nobody came out with similar technology before Google. It seems like an obvious next step in payment methods.

  3. Greg says:

    I like the fact that Google is opening up its virtual wallet to all major credit card brands, so that we can use for payment the card of our choice. American Express, in contrast, is doing precisely the opposite with its PayPal-like Serve.

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