Why aren’t you using Google Wallet? It’s one of my favorite Google services, since I buy a lot of things online. Newsflash: it’s not just for your smartphone. You might have already seen a “Buy With Google” checkout option start showing up with some online merchants, and soon you’ll see even more.
Wallet is a great, convenient service. It securely stores all your credit / debit card information and lets you choose which one to use when checking out. It sends receipts to you and keeps track of all your purchases, whether in-person at a store (via the smartphone app) or online. I’ve used Google Wallet for a few years, but only recently discovered it gets me discounts, even if I’m paying with the same card I would without using it.
Just the other day, I ordered some 3M carbon fiber vinyl for a car project. When I was checking out, shipping was $11. I used the “Buy with Google” option and paid via Google Wallet, and saw that the shipping charge dropped to $5.72 with the label “Google Shipping”. It was still the expedited shipping option I wanted, but I got it for $5 bucks less.
Once you’re all setup, you can send money to other Gmail users just by sending an email. You can carry and use all your credit / debit cards on your smartphone and just touch your phone on the credit card reader to pay (in locations that have PayPass). You can buy online or in stores, and best of all, you get discounts for buying the things you’d buy anyway and paying for them with the same card you would anyway.
Now, when it comes to the part about paying with your smartphone, there’s a catch. Sprint is the only carrier in the U.S. that “allows” Google Wallet to run on its phones. If you use AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or any of the regional carriers, you’ll get an error message when you download the app saying it isn’t permitted on your device. If you’re the tech-savvy type, there are ways around that. There are ways around just about anything.
Depending on the phone you have, it may be more difficult than others. A while back, I created these two videos of Google Wallet working on two different Verizon devices: the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy S3. I’ve also got it working on my current Verizon Galaxy S4, but I don’t have a video of that in action. Whether you’re going to root your phone and apply these workarounds or not, at least check out the videos to see Google Wallet in action.
You can setup your own Wallet here: http://www.google.com/wallet/
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