Google Wallet: 6 Facts About the Mobile Payment Service

Google Wallet is a mobile software launched in 2011 that allows Android and iPhone users to pay and receive money using their phone. The app was created as the first step in the making of an ambitious open commerce ecosystem. Will mobile payment ever replace physical wallets? It seems like that won’t happen anytime soon: a recent poll claims that only 17% of the U.S. population would use their phone to pay for items “all or most of the time.” Are you one of them? Then take a look at these key facts about the peer-to-peer payment service!

Number Six: It Comes With a Physical Card

When you sign up for the service, Google sends you a complimentary debit card to use whenever you want. The Google Wallet Card is, simply, a MasterCard with a Google logo on it. You can pay with it and withdraw money from participating ATMs.

Number Five: Sending Money Via Email

Another cool feature Google Wallet provides is that it allows you to “attach” money on your emails. It works exactly the same way as PayPal. All you need to do to collect your cash is log into your Google account and accept the payment!

Number Four: It Only Works in the U.S.

At the moment, Google Wallet (both the app and the card) are only available for U.S. residents. The system has not yet been developed anywhere else in the world. In fact, Larry Page complained about Europe’s lack of technological investment, which doesn’t make it possible for them to launch the app in the old continent at the moment.

Number Three: Android Pay V. Google Wallet

Google launched a new service in early 2015—Android Pay. The service is basically the same, except Android Pay is a lot easier and faster to use. There’s no need to launch the Android Pay app to pay in physical stores because the service is built into the operating system—all you have to do is place your phone on the credit card terminal and you’re good to go. Both services are available at the moment.

Number Two: Google Wallet V. PayPal

PayPal was one of the pioneers of online money transfers, and it’s still the largest and most popular tool for this kind of modern payment. When Google Wallet was launched, two of PayPal’s executives moved on to work for the rival company. PayPal and eBay promptly sued Google over trade secrets, claiming Google was benefiting from confidential information stolen by these executives.

Number One: It’s Making Google Lose Money

As convenient as Google Wallet might be, it’s not a very popular tool yet. In 2014, only around 16 million people were using the app on occasion, which is very far from PayPal’s 179 million active users. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the company pays such high fees to the credit card companies it works with, Google might actually be losing a ton of money every time the app is used. Google meant to eliminate the commission-based structure in favor of collecting data for marketing purposes, thus gaining revenue from advertising sales. This method proved not to be very successful. Google has invested over $300 million on a system that might not be bringing any revenue to the company! We hope you enjoyed our list; thanks for reading!