I’ve been and remain skeptical about mobile payments. I simply don’t think people want to pay for their stuff with their phones. Yes, the Japanese do it, but the Japanese also listen to J-pop. That said, while the fad lasts, it is nice to have a backup to your wallet, and Google Wallet has, as of yesterday, finally become just that.
Google Wallet, for those unfamiliar, is basically a credit card without the credit card. On Android phones with an NFC (near-field communication) chip, you add your credit card info into the app, and then use it at… well… basically huge chain drugstores and Foot Locker: Not a lot of places actually accept Google Wallet.
The big problem beyond that was that it was limited to a specific type of card, namely the Citi MasterCard. Now it’s been opened up to all cards.
Personally, I believe that as we ditch magnetic stripes and go to European chip-and-PIN cards, the future of mobile payments will actually be RFID scanners that work with apps like Square. But what the hell, while we’re waiting for that to happen, it’s nice to have a backup wallet you can remotely disable if you lose your phone, right?
Use Any Credit Card with Google Wallet [Google Blog]