What Is Google Wallet, And Why Do You Need It?

By on May 30, 2011

In a shockingly predictable move, Google has once again launched a new program that bares a remarkable resemblance to a few other hot social programs right now. The Google corporate machine is hailing Google Wallet as the ‘next big shift’ in paying for goods and services. So what is it all about?

The Google Wallet Monster

The Google Wallet concept is simple – change your smartphone into a wallet. Eliminate the need for cash and plastic when shopping. It sounds like a brilliant idea, and really, it is. Who wouldn’t enjoy the convenience of transferring money direct from your phone to the shop you’re buying from?

It’s made enough of a splash to set PayPal on edge, and it’s incorporating money-making ideas from the popular social coupon promotion site GroupOn. In fact, the idea is bare-faced brilliant – and it’s got a lot of other companies quivering in their boots. Mobile payments aren’t new, but with the power and push that Google has, we may be experiencing the beginning of a payment coup.

How Does It Work?

Google Wallet is no more than an Android app, with NFC technology. Near Field Communication technology allows the transfer of funds from one mobile device to another. And there are no shortage of stores lining up to get their ‘Google Wallet’ payment method system set up and ready to go.

All you need to do is connect, PIN and transfer. It’s that easy. You’ll never have to stop by the ATM ever again, and you’ll never run out of money if you always have your smartphone (and money in your account of course). Retailers are loving this idea, but consumers are also ready to embrace this easy payment system.

The Future of Buying and Selling?

Google’s done it on this one. There’s no way it can fail – so you can expect to see the Google Wallet sticker at your local stores coming soon. There’s still a shortage of people that have NFC technology – but it’s so new that this can only be another boom coming in social technology.

Expect to see millions of smaller companies copying Google Wallet as well. We’ve yet to see who Google’s main competitors are going to be in the market. Something tells us that whoever does rise to the occasion is going to have a tough time wrestling market share from Google.

Our Advice?

Keep an eye on Google Wallet. Buy your NFC enabled smartphone and install it as soon as you can. Google’s influence is powerful enough to persuade huge retail chains to sign on, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest follow. Plus it comes with a host of other handy features.

Google promises that soon things like airplane tickets, loyalty cards and gift certificates are going to become relics, thanks to Google Wallet. What’s not to like? Only time will tell if Wallet enjoys the success it deserves, but in the meantime it can’t hurt to stay informed – to see how you can leverage new technology for your business.

What do you think about Google Wallet? A smash hit? Or another Buzz disaster? Comment below!

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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