My Google Wallet card came in the mail today. 10 second activation with the mobile app. It was pretty exciting to see an official material such as a debit/credit card, with the Google logo on it. For me, it feels as if it merges social media, and money. An interesting feeling.
Why Google Wallet?
It started when I needed a way to put my bill money aside so I didn’t spend it. Something everyone does from the very start of their adulthood. I looked into a second checking account, and the bank I use charges a maintenance fee of $5.99 /month per account. That’s fine… Once.
SO much more after the break:
Another $5.99 /month wouldn’t be terrible, but I compared that to the $10 I spend monthly on Spotify. I wouldn’t be happy about paying that almost twice a month. In that context, it doesn’t seem appropriate to tack on another fee to all the bill madness I have right now.
I initially looked into Google Wallet because I thought it would be cool to merge the financial side of things with a company I’m quite fond of. Google is a part of every bloggers life somehow. I also figured I’d feel more comfortable with my money in a “Cloud” rather than a standard bank account. A fresh, account with no strings attached. It seemed safer to me.
Having a physical piece of Google in my hand sounded great, too.
So what do I like about it?
- App Interface. I’m a designer, therefor a complete sucker for a good interface. Google is a modern internet and social media company. Successful companies like this know how important a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is. It’s one of only two goals one should have when developing an app. Interface and Function. Ease of use goes hand-in-hand here.
- Pride. Like I said, “Having a physical piece of Google in my hand” feels great. I can trust Google as well.
- Comfort. As I said earlier, I feel safer with my money in a “Cloud” rather than a standard bank account. “A fresh account, no strings attached.”
- Gift Cards. Gift Cards, Loyalty Programs & “Offers” are built right into the service. Seems almost like Apple’s Passbook app.
- Simplicity & Convenience. When you go to set up a bank account, you’ll be there for awhile. It took just a couple clicks to get this Google Wallet account up and running. Even change your PIN right from your phone. Advanced settings unlike most banks.
What don’t I like about it?
- Waiting. Even when you add money directly from your own bank account, there’s still a standard transaction processing period. This is for “security purposes” via Google and your bank. Thankfully it at least gives you an “estimated availability” time. This pissed me off when I first learned this. You’d think they’d make it instant in this day and age..
- Fees. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Either way, It’s a BIG thing. The good thing. There’s absolutely no monthly fees, no fees for adding money from a bank account, and no transaction fees. (Adding money from a Credit Card and sending money from a Credit Card has a 2.9% fee though.) The bad thing. ATM. This is where the fees kill you, unless you find an ATM that doesn’t charge for MasterCard.
In conclusion, I’m really excited about Google Wallet overall. It’s too bad I won’t get to use the coolest feature where I’m located, which is the stores that allow Google Wallet NFC tap and pay. It would be so cool to checkout at a store with one click on your smartphone.
I think this is a great alternative to a second checking account or savings account. When you “just need somewhere to keep your money for a minute so you don’t spend it”, I think this is the way to go.
I’m sure I’ll find some more things I like/dislike about it as time goes by. My Twitter followers will surely know about that, 😉
Here’s some useful links to learn more about Google Wallet: