5 Ways Google Wallet Can Save You Money

by Carlos Portocarrero on 5 October 2011 0 comments
Photo: pittaya

Recently, a new technology was unveiled that many experts say will eventually become mainstream. Don’t hold your breath — any time you hear “technology” and “eventually” in the same sentence, it usually means we’ll be waiting around for a while. But Google Wallet is already here...kind of.

Instead of swiping your credit card to pay for things, Google Wallet allows you to pay by tapping your phone on a sensor. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to put all your rewards cards, gift cards, and coupons right on your phone. While Groupon and other "deal" sites have apps of their own, they don't use this NFC technology that lets you just tap your phone to pay since it's so brand new.

Pretty convenient, right?

While the technology is clearly in its infancy (only one phone is supported for launch), here’s how Google Wallet could save you money once it becomes more widespread. (See also: Buying a New Smartphone Without Extending Your Contract)

1. Automatic Savings

You’ll never have to worry about fishing out your rewards card or remembering to bring it along. And that Groupon you bought a while back? It’s all automatically handled by your phone when you check out — that means you’ll never forget to save.

2. More Coupons

This might creep you out, but because companies can track your every purchase (including where you are), they can better target you with coupons and deals. That means getting more coupons you’d actually use. The best part? They’ll all be applied automatically.

3. Stop Getting Screwed on Group Bills

If your share of the bill was $13.56, then simply type that in, bump phones with whoever is paying, and you’re done. No more paying $20 for the appetizer and Coke you ordered because you didn’t have any change. Ka-ching!

4. Instant Check-in for Savings

I’ll be honest — Foursquare is not my cup of tea. I think it’s exhausting to take my phone out and start tip-tapping away every time I want to “check in” somewhere. But tapping my phone up to a sensor on my way in? I’d do that in exchange for some savings if I shop there often.

5. Never Buy a Wallet Again

My phone goes wherever I go, so there’s no need to carry anything else when I go out (cash and ID notwithstanding). Getting rid of my wallet means there’s one less thing I have to buy — I’m a fan of that.

Google Wallet is brand new, and some of these things won’t be a reality for a long time — and it’s not perfect. There are security concerns and battery concerns (you can’t pay if your battery dies).

You should also take a close look at their privacy policy to see if you're OK with Google tracking what you're buying and sharing it with merchants. I haven't used it yet but I personally don't see a problem with it — any time technology can do some of the leg work for us to help save some money, I’m all in!

Would you be willing to sacrifice your wallet for the convenience of putting all your cards on your phone? Let me know in the comments!

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