Google Wallet: The debate rages

Convenient, maybe, but worries inclue security, access, participation by merchants and -- oh, yeah -- trust.

Google's announcement last week of its mobile payment system Google Wallet has attracted a fair amount of skepticism and praise from journalists, bloggers and security experts.

The service is available to anyone in the United States with a supported phone (at this point that only includes Sprint's Nexus S 4G). Users can store their credit cards inside the smartphone and use it to make contact-free payments. Google says it will add more devices to the lineup as time goes on.

An earlier PC World report says Google hasn't given consumers a reason to use the service, according to an analysis by Bob Egan of Sepharim Group.

"I think the biggest issue has been 'so, what?" Egan said.

eWeek's Don Reisinger also played devil's advocate and suggested 10 reasons why the service will flop. He highlights concerns about security (including Google's solution for a misplaced phone: "Cancel your cards"); lack of support from vendors, merchants and banks; competition; and the need for public education.

Washington Post's Hayley Tsukayama admits to giving Google a lot of her personal information, but in a blog post she says she won't be using Google Wallet.

"I clearly trust them with a lot of my information, but this is where I draw the line. And I'm not alone," Tsukayama writes.

Some think Google Wallet is a natural next step in mobile devices.

Fred Touchette of AppRiver points out in an earlier PC World story about Google Wallet security that many people already store financial data in the cloud in order to shop online.

So the question is: What do you think about Google's upcoming NFC payment service and do you plan to use it in the future?

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)
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