The End of the Google Wallet Card

Wallet Card 001

Google is terminating the Wallet Card

A short lived and ultimately doomed concept, the Google Wallet Card met only an antiquated need. And now with the well-recognized acclaim of Android Pay, Google has promised that the concept of a debit card may no longer be required in a physical sense.

The Google Wallet began in the manner to offer an easier way to make payments over the counter.  The idea, as would become apparent with Apple and Android pay, was to take the wallet out of your pocket and stuff it into your phone.  After all these transaction are already digital, why use the antiquated remnant of a long past plastic-loving society.

Alas, the Google Wallet card was borne of necessity as although Google in it’s infinite wisdom imagined a perfect digital world, the world had not yet realized the vision.  And now seeing that vision come to fruition in the form of Android Pay, Google can now retire the card that should never have been.

Remember, only the Wallet Card that is being terminated, Google Wallet will remain to allow you to transfer funds (like Paypal) to your friends and neighbors.  Google doesn’t want to eliminate an easy way to pay, just an older way.

Now, you’re probably wonder where the dates and deadlines are for this change.  You’ve got a month until you will not be able to add more funds to the card (May 1st, 2016) and by the end of June 2016 the card will cease functioning altogether.  So if you’ve got an funds remaining, don’t worry they’re fine, but the card will be toast by the end of the 2nd quarter 2016.

So long Google Wallet Card, it wasn’t fun, but at least somewhat more convenient than hauling out my phone.  Now maybe Google will ramp up the Hands-Free App.

Google Hands Free

Hands Free 001

Pay without touching your phone with Google Hands Free

We’ve seen Google Pay, Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and Android Pay, but now comes Google Hands Free.  Just as the name suggests without the need to touch your phone or a Point of Sale (PoS) device, you can literally make payments at local stores.

Google likes to be OS agnostic, that is to say that they don’t care which platform that they are on.  The internet is a place to share, so Hands Free is currently available on both Android and iOS.  However, it is only an early release, so the stores where it will work are local to Google HQ (between Palo Alto and San Jose).

Those (million or so people) who are fortunate enough to find this blog or the original Google post can download the App for iOS or Android and get started with paying without their hands.   Users will still need to have their phone with them, or least in the vicinity of the store, in order to use the Hands Free app.

This next step seems to hedge the bet that although Android Pay and Apple pay are pretty easy to do, it’s even easier to do… nothing.  Even in using your iOS or Android phone, there is still the matter of unlocking and tapping, then confirming.  Wouldn’t it be easier if the cashier just “knew” you.  Or better yet if you could just say, “put it on my tab.”

Google Hands Free seems to be the answer to all this mucking about with change or cards or PoS devices.  And to get started Papa Johns and McDonald’s are two of the better known stores in the SF South Bay that are ready to offer you this quick pay method.

Come on out all you South Bay residents, check out the new Google Hands Free and get a free $5 just to start.

Instant Buy with Google Wallet

Google Wallet Instant Buy

If you haven’t had a chance to use Google Wallet, in all it’s financial glory, then you might just be missing out.  Recently Google has added a feature called “Google Wallet Instant Buy”.

With their massive scale team of engineers, programmers, and financial geniuses, Google has developed the fastest and most simple check out feature.  It’s easy to integrate with just about any website and can be used in both Android and iOS apps.

Merchants and developers selling physical goods and services can use Instant Buy to take advantage of the following:

  • Easy integration that works with existing payment processors
  • Secure payments with 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • No Google fees

There are many options to choose from, but Google Wallet is attempting to make transactions incomparably fast.   Even now, it’s possible for a user to add up to $500 of funds to their Google Wallet account in a matter of minutes through a direct ACH transaction.  And knowing Google’s emphasis on speed and precision, it would be practical to consider the use of Google Wallet in all merchandise transactions. (and hey, no fees)

Source: Google Commerce Blog

Fill your Google Wallet faster

Google Wallet Faster

You might recall that you can add contacts to your Google Account via the Google Goggles app merely by snapping a picture of their business card and recovering the info, but Google’s not stopping there.   With the Google Wallet app you can snap pictures of your credit cards.  This will help you get access to the money in your Google Wallet faster.

No, “Your” credit cards, not those who belong to other people.

Yes, in the first example given, it was of other people’s business cards, but these are credit cards we’re talking about and if they don’t have your name, they don’t belong to you.  But it is reasonable to see how easy it would be to take pictures of other people’s credit cards and add them to your own Wallet.

Adding a 15 or 16-digit number, a date, and the 3-digit security code manually might get a bit tedious if you happen to have 10 cards.  But Google wants to make this as simple as possible, by merely taking a photo.