In Japan and a few African countries people have long been using their smart phones for financial transactions. But until now, that trend was mostly, well, foreign to America. Now none other than Google has rushed in to fill the gap with its Wallet app. After downloading and setting up Google’s Wallet app, you can shop in a brick and mortar store, then simply wave your Samsung Nexus S 4G smart phone in front of the PayPass reader, and you’re good to go. It sends the charges to your Citi Mastercard account. For now, users of the digital wallet have mostly experienced puzzled stares from checkout clerks who marvel at this new payment method. Also, to date there have been no reports of the phones buying random stuff as people pass by the PayPass readers. But that would be interesting.
Of course, as the wallet becomes part of digital life there are numerous considerations, not the least of which is a power supply and connectivity. Beyond that well, what if you don’t have that specific smart phone? You’ll just have to wait? Other phones will come along. What if there are no PayPass readers at the stores you visit? Again, wait. This is new stuff. No Citi Mastercard account? Well, you don’t necessarily have to wait. You can get a Google Prepaid card – from one of your other credit cards. But if you wait there will be other credit cards. What if your auditor requires a full accounting with backup receipts? It doesn’t do receipts – yet. And if you frequently drain your smart phone battery, well, you’ll just have to change your ways – otherwise you could be digitally bankrupt.
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