A wallet for the 21st century

The basics behind Google's digital wallet

Google WalletGoogle Wallet has been around for a few years now, but most American users couldn't really use it before last November when Kit Kat landed and brought a new method for mobile payments and a method to try and prevent carriers from blocking the app.

But if you think Google Wallet's just for tap-and-pay, you're sadly mistaken. There's a lot more to Google Wallet, and there's something for everyone here.

So, open up your Wallet and let's go shopping.

Me about to open my Google Wallet for a good album

Google Wallet is first and foremost Google's method of mobile payments, so if you've ever used the Play Store for any purchased content (including free giveaways of things like albums), you already have and use a Google Wallet account.

Sending someone like me money is easy in Google Wallet

Google Wallet has also gotten into mobile payments between users, allowing you to send and receive money through Google Wallet just as you would with PayPal. If they have a Gmail, you can send them money, or send a request for them to send you money if they, say, haven't paid their fee for your fantasy football league yet. Like PayPal, there's a fee if you use credit or debit cards for this, but if you transfer either using your Google Wallet balance or your connected bank account, there's no fee. If you're someone who transfers on a regular basis, or transfers large amounts — or both, if you've got a kid in college always needing more — then keep those fees in mind.

Your Google Wallet Balance can be used not only in the Google Play Store or with tap-and-pay, but also like a regular debit card in shops and with ATMs with the Google Wallet Card. Accepted wherever MasterCard is, the Google Wallet Card is a debit card that you can monitor from you phone and that you can keep just the amount you need on.

reward cards, so they're not fattening up your wallet

But even if you're not using Google Wallet to send or receive money, there are still some great uses to be found. Google Wallet can store loyalty program information from every single department store, grocery chain, and restaurant, and bring them up when you need them. If you have an HT+1 rewards card and you visit a Hot Topic, Google Wallet will remind you to swipe your card and get your points. They've also expanded this recently to include gift cards, so you'll never forget to use them again. And since not all stores have tap and pay yet, the stored gift cards will draw up the card number and PIN for your server/cashier/waitress to type in instead.

One of the nicest features of Google Wallet are the notifications. Each time I use tap and pay, I'll get confirmation on my phone that it went through. And once it's processed, the receipt will arrive in my Gmail. Now, to some, this may seem like overkill, but for an app tied to my money, I'd rather have it over-inform than say nothing.

A tap-and-pay receipt in Google Wallet

And of course, we have tap-and-pay. Now, this has technically been in here for years, but the carriers had blocked it on their phones and on their networks because they were all pushing their own versions of mobile wallets, most notably ISIS Wallet. With Kit Kat, tap-and-pay was changed and strengthened, and additionally, Google prevented the carriers from blocking it (for the most part). Currently it requires a US SIM card, even though the SIM card should play not role in the Host Card Emulation that enables secure, sandboxed tap-and-pay in Android Kit Kat. It's not available everywhere, but it's also more widespread than you'd think. Also, it should be widening in use in the next year and a half, as more devices with tap-and-pay are being sold and many businesses will have to upgrade anyway ahead of the chip-and-PIN switch.

So why should you care?

Tap-and-pay in progress

Tap and pay not be everywhere (yet), and it may not even be available for users outside the US, but when it does work, it's nice. In January with a blizzard outside — at least what passes for one in Texas — being able to walk next door to McDonalds and not wrestle through four or five layers of coats for your wallet is a godsend. Just pulling out your phone, tapping in your PIN with frost-bitten fingers, and tapping the reader. It's simple, but still secure. When the cashier or the guy in line behind you asks how the hell you just did that, you can show off.

It's also undeniably good to have a backup form of payment, should you lose your wallet or credit card and need a way to pay for gas to get you home or cheap food to get you by, and most gas stations I pass accept tap and pay. And the number should rise as more and more businesses upgrade ahead of the chip and pin switch-over next October.

So, do you use tap and pay? Can you use tap and pay? Or is Google Wallet just for buying apps on your phone?

 

Reader comments

What is Google Wallet and why should I care?

116 Comments

I love the "Did you just pay for that with your phone?" looks and questions. Especially that one time it was followed by an iPhone user insisting he could do it too and then when it didn't work he insisted that the store's machine must not be working.
The Google Wallet Card attracts a lot of looks and questions too. It helps that it's nicely designed and extremely distinctive.

That's why I used to use it, but as of late it doesn't work any more on my Moto X. It just says declined everywhere I try it.

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Johnny Z, that happened to me. I switched between ISIS and Google Wallet so much I think my X got confused. I cleared cache and data. I then stopped the app. I went through uninstall. I rebooted the phone and reinstalled Google Wallet. It had worked without issue since.

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I did.it at Walgreens. Guy was surprised, asked if he can do it with the iPhone I just said. Nope lol

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Love your articles. You are a great addition to AC. Just get rid of that awful keyboard! :p

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

I use it and have for many years on my Nexus devices. Have not had a carrier phone in over a year but I know it work with them also despite the carriers attempts to block it. I also have the physical card which I use as a prepaid card controlled by the google wallet app.

I am glad iPhone is rumored to be getting into mobile payments. It can only help accelerate the use of nfc terminals. Google alone did not have the clout to take it mainstream.

Posted via my OnePlus One!

It has been rumored for years that the iPhone was getting it and unfortunately they have come up short so far. Your right that it would push the platform along by leaps and bounds. I only worry that since they are signing on the credit card companies that they are going to come up with some kind of closed system...

Meaning the terminals will only work with their NFC payment system? I hope not! ISIS tried that also but most of the terminals I saw accepted both. I hope Apple does not go down that road...

Hopefully once Apple debuts EasyPay on the iPhone 6 Google Wallet will really take off

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How? Usually with Apple, everything is extremely proprietary. It wouldn't allow for cross platform devices

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NFC is a standard. It's possible they adopt some new hardware type, but unlikely as NFC alreadybhas a foothold and that would leave them with pissed off retailers and a starting point of zero adoption.
Not out of the question, but pretty stupid.

That used to be true. Now they work with controllers and keyboards and all types of doodads.

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Oh you're right, I forgot about those controllers and keyboards. But still, those iPhones still can't share a picture like we've all been doing for the last 8-10 years.
I doubt the new iPhone's nfc chip will do anything else besides supporting payments.

Leaks have shown the iPhone 6 with an NFC chip made by NXP, the same group that makes chips for various Nexus devices, moto phones, Samsung phones and more. And just as brendilon said, NFC is a standard so if it were proprietary it wouldn't be NFC.

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Just having Kit Kat doesn't always help, because Google Wallet only supports certain NFC chip sets (Broadcom I believe). I'm out of luck on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 because it uses an unsupported NFC chip set. I sure hope Google fixes that in Wallet because I miss having tap-n-pay.

That's the reason I didn't get the note 3. Hopefully the Note 4 will work with it.

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It works with a different rom. Of course, you shouldn't HAVE to rom it in order to use tap and pay, but it's a nice addendum if you already rom. I'm using X-Note on my Sprint Note 3 (it's a touchwiz based rom so I still get all of my s-pen goodies). Tap and pay works flawlessly.

I was thinking that the rumored inclusion of NFC on the iPhone 6 is what spurred the creation of this article. I am excited for them to do so, because then I will be able to use my NFC equipped Android that much more frequently. U love getting those "did you just pay for that with your phone?" comments.

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I love the tap and pay feature. I use it every time I can. Now that home depot, office depot and petco take it I use it most of the time. Once Wal-Mart or target start taking it then I'll be set. It is so easy and much safer than using a credit card. Cvs, McDonald's and over 85% of gas stations take it. And now that the iPhone will have nfc more companies will be willing to upgrade.

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I would love to have tap and pay (+stores using it). But here where I live (EU-Luxembourg) they don't even talk about introducing such useful things... -.-

So for me Google Wallet is only for buying apps...

I could never manage to get my wallet to work in Canada, but my friend with his Nexus S managed to get it to work at Tim Hortons. It was awesome until the complimentary $10 ran out. I would have stuck with trying to get my Galaxy Nexus to work if we had figured out how to add money to it.

Europe and Canada get some technology before the US, but the tech we do get first is mainly because of our sheer land mass and population of over 300,000,000 people. Also some of it has to do with the Companies being located here. I can't think of a tech that is limited to the US that has been around for a while. Most things eventually work their way across the pond.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

Yeah a Google service that's been out for over two years and still only works in the USA.

How exciting. Seems Google are really behind this one. Ahem.

However, could this be due to the fact that the US is usually 15 years behind the rest of the world in terms of card payment systems and the like? After all we already have two or three contactless payment systems in Europe.

"15 years behind the rest of the world..." Hahaha. Oh, some people love to hate on the U.S. just for the sake of hating. The U.S. so much more advanced than the rest of the world it's quite laughable. Americans innovate and the rest of the world follows. Europeans wish they had as many useful innovations as Americans in the 20th century.

I guess for you reading skills are not too important? I said in terms of card payment systems. Please try harder!

Welcome to chip & pin..only about 12 years behind on that one.

We've been using that for about 10 years now. So yeah, try harder. Is it widely used? No. But the fact is I've been using that technology for that long....

Sorry, but this just isn't true anymore. From 3G to SMS to clean diesel to pharmaceuticals and beyond, America *does* lag behind in several key areas now. Even worse, Americans cling to an outdated, misguided principle of "exceptionalism" as tragically as Russians do to their twisted, propoganda-fueled perceptions of geo-political reality. The longer we insist we are intrinsically better than the rest of the world, the further we will fall behind. More action is needed to strengthen our role on the global technological stage, not just the blind parroting of an antiquated, bigoted, close-minded theory of "exceptionalism" that was bullshit in the first place.

If you don't know what Google Wallet is, then you don't need it. But seriously, who hasn't heard of Google Wallet by now?

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I haven't. Most of my shopping is done through a computer or phone. I mostly see pay with papal everywhere online, amazon is now starting to pop up. I rarely see google wallet.

I haven't heard of it until the last article was posted about it a few weeks ago. It doesn't sound like something that I would use a lot so I doubt if I would be interested in it.

I doubt that I could find more than 5 people out of 100 that I interact with on a daily basis that have heard of Google Wallet or at least realize that is what they may use to buy their Android apps. I mention Google Wallet in many different contexts (tap to pay, money transfer between friends) and I always get blank stares.

I agree. The public at large hasn't embraced this tech. Mostly because the marketing is so bad that they have never heard of it.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

When Apple launches mobile payments on iPhone next week, that's how it will seem. Just watch. Apple will have mobile payments become more popular on iPhone in a week than Google accomplished on Android in 2 years.

I used tap and pay at Walgreens yesterday and it worked fine. I also like how it puts a reminder in the notification bar to scan the rewards card (also does it for Starbucks when I'm there).

I use it mostly with prepaid debt gift cards I get for Holidays or birthday. I do have my credit card linked but rarely use credit if I can help it.

I don't like the idea of having my debt card linked, it doesn't have the same protections my credit card does, otherwise I'd use it daily like I do my debt card.

Am I the only one who is paranoid about linking my debt card?

As far as I'm concerned, my tap and pay on my phone is more secure than my physical debit card. If my phone is stolen, I can lock it with a text or by going online. If my card is stolen, I get to try calling State Bank of Frogballs WI and hope they haven't closed for the day.

Frogballs, Wisconsin sounds like a great town to live in. When can I move?

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

I use tap to pay when I can, but there are not that many places that offer it in my area. Some places that are supposed to take it ... and even have the wallet logo, are often broken. That is true in a lot of places, they tell me "its not working right now"... but then they never fix it. Basically, there is just one Wallgreens that actually works consistently. It is supposed to work wherever Mastercard tap to pay works... same thing... everywhere Mastercard says that you can use it, you go there, and it does not work. If Google wants the tap to pay to be successful, they have to control that aspect of it. They should offer the card readers to companies that actually work. .. make a deal that would be hard for them to resist.

An offer they could not resist... Like 0% fee for all purchases made through Google Wallet tap and pay? Would sound great to me, as a part owner of a firearms manufacturer/retailer, but that would never happen because Google isn't handling the transaction. They are simply facilitating it.

I have to say though that would be wonderful. For businesses like the one I partially own, but don't work for, the margins are very low and credit card fees have to be factored in to the prices of every item.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

I love Tap and Pay, and use it whenever I can. My biggest complaint is that with all the retailers swapping out their terminals to comply with the October 2015 smartcard deadline in the U.S., a lot of these new terminals support Tap and Pay, but the retailers aren't hooking that up. So, the terminal shows the Tap and Pay icon, and it seems to function, but the transaction will fail. This makes it even harder to tell where I can use it, and where I can't. What's more, I've run into a couple ISIS terminals, which also seem to work, but which will deny the transaction. It's frustrating to say the least, and I fear that if future iPhones start supporting Tap and Pay, they'll use some other standard, and it will get even worse. Can't we all just get along? Standardize already, geez!

Yeah, my grocer is guilt of that. I've thought about actually going to the manager and asking if they'll ever set it up.

I really wish Google would do the following with Google Wallet:

1. Integrate it completely with their own services. I can't pay for my Google Music All Access subscription with money from my Google Wallet account, for instance.

2. Allow the Google Wallet Card to be used as payment for online services and purchases. When I enter in my GW Card to try this, it doesn't go through.

3. For a while there, it was taking days for money to transfer from my bank to my GW account, whereas for my wife it was darn near instantaneous. The bank blamed Google, Google blamed the bank.....it's sorted itself out now, mysteriously, but ensuring a more-or-less immediate movement of money to the GW account should be a no-brainer.

I really like using the card and service overall, tho. My wife and I went through a spate of having our debit card numbers hacked and we were going to our bank's ATM every weekend to pull out cash for restaurants/etc. on Saturday/Sundays. The GW Card makes it so much easier now, and we get a lot of "Huh, never seen this.....what's Google Wallet?" and we do our best to proselytize :) If Google would open up the functionality a bit more, I'd use it even more than I do now.

I tried using tap and pay once in a Walgreens store. It didn't work, and since then I haven't remembered to try again.

Also to the author I have to ask. How is it easier to get your phone out than your wallet in your winter McDonald's example? My phone is in one pants pocket, and my wallet another. For me it makes no difference.

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You must have tried it back when the system was set up and then cancelled due to updates for security. Since then they all have been activated. Also it is easier to use your phone, all you do is pull phone out, hover over unit, enter pin and done,all with one hand. With a wallet you most likely have to use hands to take it out, 2 hands to take out credit card and then swipe it and possibly have to show id depending on the person at the register, then you have to do same thing to put it away. So yea, for most using your phone is easier, safer and more convenient.

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Is there anyone out here who was asked by Google for proof of address and ss# to get touch to pay function to work? After having it on my rooted S3 for a while, they suddenly asked me all this info when I tried to activate it on my S5 (both were Verizon).

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I think at one point I remember them asking for additional information but I don't remember what it was. If you want to give me your address, SS# and mothers maiden name I can see if it's legit.

I wasn't asked for it during tap-and-pay, but I was when I set up sending/receiving money so I could show that in the article.

It's a banking requirement in the US for certain transactions, but I don't remember it asking for tap-and-pay.

I'd really like to use Google Wallet, but unfortunately it hasn't arrived in Italy yet, though I really hope it does as it'd make payments a lot easier here too.

I love the loyalty programs feature. I live within walking distance of a Rite Aid and I can basically use their card and buy something without even taking any form of payment with me. I haven't tried to use the tap and pay yet, but they know me enough now to be ready for my phone when they ask for my store card. I get a lot of comments on my Google Wallet card too and then I show people the app on my phone. They love it. It's genius. I love everything about it.

Posted with my LG G3.

Google failed miserably in getting this off the ground. Google Wallet hampered by specific banks, card issuers and mobile service providers. We never got Google Wallet here in Canada.

If Apple launches with a proper digital payment system, I'll probably be jumping to the iPhone. I'm getting quick sick of Google failing to execute properly, not offering half the services in Canada for years, and then proceeding to offer virtually all their services on iOS anyway. So why bother with Android?

I'd hardly call it a miserable fail on Google's part. While I can't speak to the first world problem of not having it available in my country, I can tell you of the hardships others have had to face while the US carriers blocked Wallet to create their own NFC caliphate with ISIS. It sounds like the issue you're speaking to is less about Wallet though and the availability of some services so maybe iOS would be best for you.

I'd call it a miserable fail. Google couldn't get past Mastercard partnership. Apple apparently has signed deals with American Express (my main card), Visa (my second card) and Mastercard for the launch next week. And this is Apple. They don't launch in just one or two markets for years. They launch as wide as they can. If iWallet isn't available at launch in Canada, it'll be available in Canada fairly soon after that.

As for US carriers blocking Wallet, that still doesn't explain why Google never opened it up in other countries where the carriers had no objections. Heck, open up Wallet just to accomodate store loyalty cards. Forget the payment portion. Wallet was a half-baked launch. Apple will show them how it's done shortly.

Finally, yes, I don't see the point of staying on Android when I can get all of Google's offerings on iOS. And I get Apple's offerings too. All of Apple's offering, not just a handful of services that they choose to offer outside the USA. My biggest complaints about the iPhone are solved: bigger screen, notifications, third party keyboards, widgets. At this point, I'm looking for service expansion....like mobile payments.

I don't have a MasterCard and I use Wallet almost every day so where's the limitations? You're also making an assumption about iWallet that if it's not released in Canada, that it would be soon after. Basically, you're just here to troll Google because it hasn't opened it up Wallet in Canada which isn't a big enough market to be bothered with to begin with. Enjoy your iPhone, you won't be missed here.

Never asked for any sympathy for my choices. Just pointing out that Google's business and policychoices have consequences.

I used to be a diehard android fan. It's because of my arguments for Android that so many of my friends and family have Android devices. Many of them my own... I was also a Nexus purist. Every smartphone I've had has been a Nexus. Ditto the Nexus 7 tablet.

So for me to be fed up with Google's policies to the point of quitting Android is admittedly a big step. But after waiting eons for Play Music in Canada (while Apple easily launched iTunes Match) and now having to watch Apple leap ahead in mobile payments, I'm getting tired of the second class treatment.

By the way, your choice is indeed limited. You can't use Visa or Amex with Google Wallet. Your assertion reminds me of a Henry Ford comment, "They can have any colour they want, as long as it's black.". You can use any credit card you want with Google Wallet as long as it's MasterCard. Must be awesome to leave your wallet at home... Except for the times you need your visa, movie tickets or airline boarding passes.

Perhaps the issue is that you don't understand how it works as you can connect more than MasterCard to it, including Visa. I've also boarded planes with my phone without issue. If you're going to make an argument against Google, know what you're arguing against.

Ahhh yes. Link the Visa to the Google Wallet card. So now you have another intermediary in the transaction process. So does that allow you to access services like the extended warranty on your Visa for that purchase?

In any event, I would have even considered getting a MasterCard to use Google Wallet had the service been offered in Canada. But like most Google services, Google seems inept at international expansion outside the US. And when it comes to mobile payments, international standards matter. Kinda useless to have a service that's only available with certain providers, on certain devices, in certain countries.

Here's my easy prediction: Apple will have more active users of its mobile payment platform in a week than Google Wallet has to date. And that's largely because Apple will launch with several credit card brands and internationally.

So in the end, even though you can apply your own cards, even get your own Google Wallet card, it's not good enough because it's not available in a small, northern market?

Let Apple create something that gains wide acceptance while only increasing the infrastructure that will continue to allow Android to flourish. At the end of the day, numbers don't lie and Android still dominates the mobile market and will continue to do so.

Small northern market? One of the first to adopted chip cards that you Americans are slow to take up. And it's a market that's bigger than most European countries.

In any event, it's not just about Canada. How many markets is Google Wallet available in? Officially. Look it up and c let us know.

No comments to disparage Android. Love Android. Hope it stays strong going forward. It's important to have competition. Benefits all consumers regardless of what platform you choose.

For me it's a personal choice. But I'll certainly be sharing my ideas with my friends and family, like I did when I encouraged them to take up Android.

Why live as a second class consumer under Android when the iPhone let's you use both Apple's and Google's services? After all, it's not like Google cares to maintain any service with exclusivity on Android? Remember when they said Maps Navigation would be exclusive?

Seems like most of the middle income consumers in the developed world are reaching the same conclusion. I'm just late to the party. And I'm tired of fighting it.

Being able to link virtually any credit cards to Google Wallet is nice, but my question is. Will you still be able to earn credit card reward points for the credit card you used to pay with Google Wallet?

I don't know. With Google Wallet, the transaction is being done with a virtual Mastercard. The retailer never gets your real credit card number. All purchases on your credit card statement will simply say Google.

This is the number one reason why I'm using my credit card >Google Wallet. It's a nice perk to be able to pay with my phone instead of digging through my wallet, but it's still nicer to be able to earn my rewards points.

Apple will bring mobile payments to Canada before Google. Just like iTunes Match before Play Music.

Google doesn't give a fig about us.

I love Google Wallet!!

1) My G/F and I transfer money back and forth to each other to pay for and track monthly living expenses.

2) I accidentally left my wallet at home when I went to the CVS to get medicine. I was able to use my phone to pay for my items.

3) I love the look on cashier's faces when they wonder wtf just happened when I paid with my phone. How can you be a cashier and not know all the payment options?

I use Tap to Pay with places that have it. I've been to a few places where they have a reader, but it wasn't working. Sometimes it works with my case on, and sometimes it doesn't. The next phone I get I'll probably just get a skin instead of a full blown case.

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I would love to use tap and pay but I really haven't seen any stores that offer it in my area since I don't live in the city. I can't even get the scanners at the stores where I shop to read my rewards cards that I have stored in Google Wallet.

You can use Google Wallet at Walgreens, McDonalds, Jamba Juice...when the devices work and employees know how to process the transactions.

And most gas stations I've been to here in Texas use it. I use tap-and-pay next door to work when I walk over to buy snacks.

When using Tap to Pay, does the phone need a Data connection at the time of purchase? Could you set up G-Wallet to make automatic recurring payments e.g.; monthly rent, and if yes, is there a fee.

I found the answer to one of my questions at the G-Wallet site;
"You will need to be connected to the internet in order to unlock the app with your 4-digit security PIN and tap and pay in stores. However, if you set your PIN timeout in the app settings, you can be offline for up to 24 hours and still tap and pay without being connected to the internet."

"Just pulling out your phone, tapping in your PIN with frost-bitten fingers, and tapping the reader."

You forgot the part where you have to toggle your NFC on and wait for a while for it to establish a connection, because it drains battery like crazy so who leaves it on all the time? With that factored in, it's faster for me to swipe my debit card and enter that pin. Not a fan of Tap n Pay as of yet.

Just wrong.
1. NFC doesn't drain the battery. Its PASSIVE
2. Nobody who actually uses NFC bothers to ever toggle it off/on; it's always on.

Exactly. Not only that, but simply tapping my phone is faster than whipping out my wallet, pulling out the card I want to use, swiping, waiting, entering a PIN, waiting, and then wading through a number of acceptance prompts. The only extra step using my phone is opening Google Wallet (which I do while shopping) and entering my PIN. At the register it's just tap, wait a few seconds, and it's done. Every single clerk that hasn't seen it before is amazed and wants both the app and the phone (One M8) because it's so quick and easy.

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Yeah, I never eat at McDonald's and the nearest Walgreens is at least 30 miles away, I've never even seen a Jamba Juice! I've tried using the rewards card at Kroger, but never works. Living in a rural area definitely has its drawbacks.

I first used NFC Tap-To-Pay in 2012 with both my Galaxy S3 and Nexus 7 at a Walgreens (in order to use the free promo $$ before it expired), and it worked just fine. Of course, I had to root and hack my S3 to get it working with Cyanogenmod, because the carriers suck, but it still worked.

I don't use it much anymore because I still prefer CASH and almost always have my more-convenient wallet on me anyway. (It also doesn't help that NFC is one of the only remaining things still broken with CyanogenMod on the T-Mobile Note3 :) )

I'm still waiting for google to potentially begin offering this in Canada. Right now I'm stuck with select banks making deals with different carriers to allow NFC payments from select phones. Makes it really hard to use if bank a only works with carrier b on phone c.

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Love the app. Just wish more vendors would switch over to NFC payments. 7-eleven pulled their machines because of cost. (or so they say) But I am curious if they will put them back in when new device(s) come out with the NFC capability. I hate carrying my George Costanza wallet around and would love to size it down. The loyalty cards are a great option but some bar codes still won't scan like grocery cards. Make them bigger and more readable.

I scanned 6 cards in today. The Bar Codes are sharp as a tack, and bigger than the codes on the actual cards. Maybe the app has been updated since you last used it, you should try scanning in the cards again.

One thing that I LOVE about Google Wallet that I haven't seen anywhere else is that if you use it to pay for a purchase somewhere that places a hold on funds (for example: restaurants and gas stations), the instantaneous notification and email show the amounts of both the transaction AND the hold. I had a gas station place a $100 hold on $30 of gas. Using Google Wallet I knew immediately and could plan around it while funds were tight, instead of being surprised when I went to the grocery store later.

In addition, Google creates a one-time use CC transaction when you use tap & pay. That way, vendors don't have your actual card or bank info. Considering how many businesses have been hacked the past few years, that matters to me.

One thing that I wish Google would change is that the Wallet card can only access your Wallet balance. If they would allow it to tap into your default funding source like tap & pay does then that would take care of places that don't accept tap & pay yet.

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I've been using Google Wallet in some form for many years. I've been using tap and pay since it went live on the Galaxy Nexus in 2011.

I've been using tap and pay since my Galaxy Nexus, but I'm in Australia now and it's not supported. There are even soda machines that accept NFC equipped cards, but when I try to use my phone, it's declined - Google Wallet not accepted here.

The thing about transferring money from your checking... it's ok if there's 0 urgency. Money will take days to go to your wallet balance or to the person you're sending it to. Using a debit card to feed your wallet balance? 300 limit for every 30 days. This is extremely irritating. The Pros and Cons provide a blurred line to whether it's all worth it or not. Customer service is feeble at best. I guess we will all see what the future holds for Google Wallet.

Tap to pay is wide spread in Australia, and I use it on my debit card all the time. One day Google Wallet will work outside the US...

So this thread inspired me to try tap-and-pay again. I stopped in at Walgreens after work today, and unlike my last attempt it worked this time. I can see myself using this going forward.

Posted via Android Central App

I CAN and DO use tap and pay all the time. Maybe its just the area I live in, but it seems like most places I go accept tap and pay with exception to the independent shops. But even one Family owned NY style Pizza joint accepts tap and pay. (God I love their pizza).

Google wallet is a very important and useful tool to me. I use it every day. If it weren't for my drivers license and health insurance card i don't think i would even need a wallet. Most people think I'm Houdini or something when I pull my phone out, tap it on the card machine and pay. Even some cashiers.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

Wow, I thought it was just for tap and pay, I didn't know about the Loyalty Cards. I just scanned in 6 cards that I no longer have to carry, or have plastic mini-cards dangling on my key chain. Thanks for the info!!