Technological progress never stops. From the earliest eras of human history, mankind has sought newer, easier, more attractive ways to perform necessary tasks. Every invention, from the wheel to cellular phones, has come about due to this quest. Even currency came about as an easier way to determine the value of goods and services and provide a concrete exchange between parties. Money has seen much advancement in its long history. From trading raw precious materials to minting coins, printing paper bills and, finally, encoding financial data into credit and debit cards, money storage and transfer has seen much improvement through the years. The latest evolution in currency comes in the form of products like Square and Google Wallet, which allow both business owners and customers to merge their financial services with mobile devices such as smartphones. Google Wallet’s intended purpose is to allow consumers to carry all of their pertinent shopping resources, from credit cards to coupons to receipts, digitally on their devices. With these technologies available, will physical currency soon go the way of the Crumple-Horned Snorkack, never seen and widely held to be mythical? What benefits will Google Wallet offer to the market as a whole and businesses specifically? Is Google Wallet the start of a unified digital wallet system or will many competing technologies emerge, possibly crippling the digital wallet niche before it even gets a chance to pick up steam?
What does it mean for physical currency?
Few people seem to pay for the majority of the purchases with cash anymore, generally opting for a credit or debit card. While this is certainly an improvement in terms of efficiency and safety (carrying thousands in cash is dangerous while storing the same amount in a bank account accessed by a card is much safer), it’s still far from secure and requires that consumers carry around multiple cards. Google Wallet, with its Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, lets users store multiple credit cards, debit cards and PayPal accounts in a locked app on their phone, providing ease of use and increased security. Though paper money and credit cards will likely stay around for a long time, the importance of digital wallets will definitely see an increase due to its efficiency, ease of use and security of the information.
What benefits does Google Wallet offer?
Not surprisingly, Google offers many benefits to businesses that accept Google Wallet payments. Merchants aren’t charged any additional fees on Google Wallet payments and the use of NFC technology will only increase in the future, so the hardware required for the service will be a worthwhile investment. The service allows merchants to provide coupons and discounts to users electronically, negating the need for potentially costly printed coupons and mailers. It will also allow merchants to keep better track of payment methods and customer engagement, which is helpful no matter what product a company sells.
Will Google Wallet be the only contender in the digital wallet sphere?
Apple and Microsoft have already agreed to support NFC payments in their mobile devices, meaning that Google won’t be the only player in the field for long. The fact that all three companies will be using the same technology means that the mobile payment niche won’t be fractured from the start, giving it a good chance to become more widespread and grow into the amazing service it could easily be. As more merchants begin receiving payments and more manufacturers incorporate the technology into their devices, the world of unified mobile payment solutions will surge in popularity and prestige.