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Google Wallet: Convenient, Dangerous, or Both?

Google has announced a brand new program for smartphones called Google Wallet, which will allow consumers to apply credit card information to their phone and use it to scan for quick and convenient purchases at participating retailers. The announcement signals another move by Google to stay at the forefront of making things as straightforward and convenient as possible. However, with such a bold move into the sphere of personal finance and privacy concerns, will Google Wallet be a convenient step forward for shoppers or a dangerous risk to privacy?

The simple answer for the moment is: we won’t know for sure until it’s released to the public, but probably both. There is no doubt that having your credit card and debit card information on your phone, which you can scan at the register, will save you time and make your life more convenient. Retailers such as Starbucks have already seen success with gift card apps that have a similar function. But this begs some interesting questions: what if my phone is stolen? Will apps I download be able to access my Google Wallet information and use it for malicious purposes? How long will it take for retailers to install scanners to their POS systems so I can actually use it? Google is finishing up the testing stages of Google Wallet now hoping to get definitive answers on these questions and others by the time it’s released. Until it is, eager shoppers will have to make do with swiping their credit cards at the register. In the meantime, you can keep up to date on the latest credit news and commentary on our credit card blog.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Annette Shaff

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Logan Abbott's picture

Logan Abbott is a personal finance and credit card expert with over 5 years of experience writing about each topic. He is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, and also contributes to other online finance publications. He has been quoted in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, TheStreet, and more.

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CreditCards.org's picture

Leave it to Google to figure out how to use your phone to pay with your credit cards. This is so cool!

James's picture

This article is missing some major information! Google is the one company I would never let see my credit card transactions. This is just one more way they are mining us for information! Why would you give a company like Google unlimited access to your entire purchasing history? Every single thing Google does is to get more and more information from us so they can sell us to advertisers. They keep the data for years and sell it to the highest bidder. You are all fools for thinking Google is a cutesy innocent little company that wants to be everyone's friend. You're all going to realize it when it's too late.