Today, I am going to talk about whether using Google Wallet is safe or not.
Is it a good way to pay online?
What are the costs and risks?
Read on to learn more about Google Wallet.
Google Wallet is an online payment gateway from Google. It can be used to send money to friends or to pay for certain (Google related) online services.
Its focus lies definitely on transferring funds from one individual to another. It is not really useful for business transactions or for shopping.
Please note that this has changed over time.
Before, Google Wallet even had its own debit card and many more features.
But those features were removed to make it easier to navigate.
However, those changes have made it a bit too basic for my personal taste.
The only additional thing you can still activate is to receive commercial payments (e.g. for rent or services you offer).
This has to be activated before you can use it.
I would rather go with PayPal for that, though.
But if you need a simple way to send money to friends or family, Google Wallet is a safe an easy way to do just that.
Once you have set up your wallet, you can make transfers with your phone. Even by sending a text message.
If you have a Google Account (e.g. a Gmail email address) you have also a Google Wallet.
All you need to do is to go to wallet.google.com.
Log in with the account you want to use and you are ready to go.
You can add multiple cards and bank accounts to your mobile wallet.
You also can add money directly to your wallet.
If you want to send money then, you can do that with just a few clicks.
Type in the amount you want to send and the recipient’s Gmail address and send it.
You can also request money from other people.
As of now, sending and requesting money with the Google Wallet is only available in the USA and the UK (according to Google Support).
They couldn’t tell me about other countries. If and when it would be available there, too.
The support also told me that, in the UK, you can only make payments with debit cards or your Wallet balance.
They can’t take money directly from your bank account in the UK.
Of course, this service from Google is not for free.
Adding money to the wallet costs 2.9%.
There is a limit of how much you can pay at once and in a 5-day period.
Single payments can not exceed $9,999 USD and within 5 days you can’t pay more than $50,000 USD.
Such a limit is a good thing, in my opinion.
It is meant to keep you safe from fraud.
The costs, however, are rather high. I would think twice before using Google Wallet for my payments.
There are several ways to make payments with your Google Wallet:
I already described this way above.
It is pretty straightforward:
Simply type in the amount and recipient and send the money with the click of a button.
Depending on your settings, you will have to type in a PIN to confirm the payment (recommended).
There is a Google Wallet App available on Android phones and iPhones.
Simply download it from the store and you can do the same as on the PC.
This can be done on the PC or on the app.
Instead of typing in the name or email address, you type in the recipient’s phone number.
He will then get a text message with a safe link to access the money.
If you want to receive money like this, you have to add your phone number to your Google Wallet.
That will make receiving it faster and easier.
Google is a huge and mostly trusted company, but there are always risks when money is involved.
Their servers security is of the highest standard and I wouldn’t worry too much when using them.
Problems can arise if you handle your own security carelessly.
You have to make sure to use strong passwords. Keep your passwords safe and don’t write them down and put them in your (physical) wallet.
Also, don’t write them down on your phone.
The biggest risk here comes from the user and not from Google.
The only thing I worry about when dealing with Google is our privacy.
Google loves digging through our personal data to learn as much as possible about us.
They are not very likely to sell this data, but they use it to make money from us.
They show us those products they think we want.
If you care about your privacy, Google might not be the best partner for you.
But who can really avoid Google anyways?
I, personally, think that Google is a safe way to send money to individuals or to pay for Google Services (like video rentals).
But, I am not completely convinced that it can beat services like PayPal.
At the moment it can only be used in the UK and in the USA (according to Google support).
It also can’t be used internationally, because of different currencies.
For now, it is a very basic service.
I am sure that this will change over time, as Google definitely wants to establish its own payment gateway.
I already mentioned PayPal, which is the most common and popular online payment gateway.
It is easy to use and supports many different countries worldwide.
So far I never had problems with Paypal.
They were also very quick in helping me when I didn’t receive a product after paying for it. I got my money back pretty fast.
Google has a second app called “Android Pay”. This has many more options but is only available for Android phones.
A third option is called “BitCoins”.
There is a lot to know about BitCoins, so I will talk about this in another article very soon.
Stay tuned for that.
I would really like to know if you have already made the transition from traditional (online) banking to using a mobile wallet.
I am pretty sure that it will become more and more popular and normal to use services like Google Wallet.
Do you think that using Google Wallet is safe?
Are you scared that someone will steal your money if you start using it?
Let’s talk about it!
Leave me a comment below and I will get back to you quickly.
All the best,