Why are people so quick to shoot down Google Wallet?

Like everything in the mobile world, new ideas are often met with praise and jubilation by some, and criticism and detest from others. However, Google Wallet has taken tech sites by storm; way more than usual. In fact, the general idea about it is that it will fail. Sites are making claims such as “it won’t catch on,” “it’s horribly insecure,” and “it’s dead before it’s started.” As an author of a tech website, I’m flabbergasted. Since when was it our job to try to convince people NOT to try great new products? Every writer knows that by criticizing something you’ll get more page views. That’s all fine and dandy, but Google Wallet IS a good product. People should be excited about the possibilities, not afraid to get a phone with NFC because some tech blogs are calling it the devil. So I’m here to shoot down their claims and make my bold prediction. Google Wallet will not only succeed, it will take the world by storm. Crazy I know, but I have my reasons.

Google Wallet won’t catch on because:

1) It’s not secure enough

The argument here is that people won’t trust using their phone as a credit card. That “they won’t want to have all that information on something that can be stolen.” Did no one take the time to think about the fact that your actual credit card can be stolen? Based on requiring a separate PIN just to use the Google Wallet app, you could actually make an argument that perhaps Google Wallet is more secure than your actual credit card. You wouldn’t want either of them stolen. Believe it or not, the same case was made against credit cards when they first came out. Guess what? Based on my highly scientific observations people don’t give a crap that credit cards are less secure than checks or carrying around a designated amount of cash. People like ease of use. And that’s something that Google Wallet gives people. If you steal a credit card you need a PIN to use it. Same with Google Wallet. All I see is one less thing you’re carrying (sorry credit card, you’ll always have a special place in my heart).

2)  All your information on software means it can be hacked

This is true. There will eventually be someone who can hack Google’s app and get at your credit card info. Hackers are pretty good now a days. The problem with this proving that Google Wallet will fail is that this already happens in the real world. How many of you have done taxes online? Managed your bank account online? Believe it or not, there was a lot of criticism that those sites wouldn’t be as secure as doing it by hand or by going into your nearest bank. There is malware out there that actually steals the info you put on those sites. Do you want to know why those sites and online banking are still successful? There’s two reasons. Going back to what I said earlier, the first is ease of use. People like being lazy. Yes, it’s not as secure as traveling to your bank, but I’d much rather walk 10 seconds to my office than drive 10 minutes to my bank. Secondly, you’d have to be a fool to think companies aren’t aware of these. They know that if a wide spread hack makes their website seem insecure in the public eye they’ll go out of business. Because of this those companies put a great deal of effort into securing these sites. They constantly update them, scan for hacks, watch the internet for word of these hacks, and change how their website works so by the time hackers develop a way that way no longer works. Google will do the same thing. Google is one of the most advanced technological giants of our age. Do you think they’ll just encrypt something willy nilly and throw it to the wolves? I don’t think so.

Bonus point: PSN was hacked, and hundreds of thousands of peoples’ credit card information got out to the world. People are still going to go back on PSN, I promise. They trust Sony to fix this and be secure. Google is often held in an even higher light than Sony when it comes to security. Something tells me people aren’t too worried about this.

3) It won’t catch on

Neither will an expensive MP3 player, wifi, “4G,” Blu Ray, Android phones, or Tablets. All of these ideas were shot down by analysts because “they weren’t adopted by enough people,” or they had “better versions in the works already.” My point here is that the biggest tech company our generation has seen since Microsoft is backing up an idea they created. It WILL succeed. NFC is already huge in Japan (go figure), so people like it. It’s a tried and true formula that Google has watched and tested in other markets. Sure, not too many vendors right now have means to accept Google Wallet, but they eventually will. In the beginning, not too many devices were equipped to connect to WiFi networks. In the beginning not too many artists were keen about putting their music on iTunes for sale. In the beginning few companies wanted to invest into Android Phones because the iPhone was too dominant. The fact of the matter is good ideas catch on. Companies will look at Google Wallet as a way of making sure every customer can pay for their services. At some point in the future, managers at stores around the nation will realize that if their stores don’t have NFC capabilities some people won’t be able to pay at their store. That’s bad for business. They’ll make sure that people can pay any way they want to…just so long as they’ll pay (why do you think nearly every credit card is now accepted everywhere? It’s bad for business to be selective).

The fact that NFC is popular elsewhere and is just an alternative way for paying leads me to believe Google Wallet will be a very successful business move by Google. Even more, it’ll make consumers lives even better. Because let’s be honest, no one likes having a fat wallet. They’re just uncomfortable to sit on.

» See more articles by Andrew Greenfield


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  • T. Alvarez

    Excellent post, I agree with you 100%. Nice job.

  • joe

    I totally agree… and it will be awesome!
    Here’s the funny thing is that if apple put out iPay, that used your iTunes account to pay for things, people would say its the next big thing. (You can have that idea free apple)
    I already use google checkout and PayPal, this is just a natural evolution. But I think we could skip the nfc chip and just do barcodes on the phone the way my Starbucks app does already.

  • Daksh

    really nice article! loved reading it! hope i can use google wallet to fill my car gas tank some day soon!

  • http://www.otecology.com Justin

    Here’s a major reason it won’t catch on. People (masses) don’t get it. Most people I know with iPhones (the choice of the masses) have no idea how to actually use them to their fullest. Then there are the older generations, who don’t get computers in general, and won’t want to adopt something new this late in life.

    It may ultimately catch on, but that would result from a S-l-o-w process. Not gonna happen for a LONG time.

  • level380

    I agree. After using the hong kong octopus card while on holiday. I would happily ditch my wallet. It’s common to see people in hk just carrying a mobile and octopus card.

    Wiki tells me 95% of people have them and $13m usd a day is put through the system. Not bad for a fad that won’t catch on.

    I found it was great. All shops had payment system all vending machines had. So you walk upto a vending push your drink. Wave your card out comes your drink. So easy. Same as shopping. Everything from supermarket to little vendors had it swipe and go payment.

  • https://www.gewiimobile.com Drew

    My wallet hurts my butt sooooo when will all the retail store will start carrying NFC? I already have the phone.

  • Shane

    100% agree

  • joe

    To Justin…. maybe you haven’t kept up on the news but android out sells iPhone. It has already over come the two year head start apple had on the product line.
    Anyway your point is valid, most people don’t understand them, but paying via your phone… your credit card is your phone… that I’ve heard people saying why don’t they just put a chip in the phone since the razr days and I think the concept is simple enough. They don’t have to understand how it works.as level380 points out, its already in use and tested in Japan.

  • http://android--news.blogspot.com thekian

    I think if people actually give them a chance, Google could do something really special. and what is wrong with Paypal, the app is still in beta, if they asked Google could have invited them to the meeting. I support the development of this app even though I live in UK and don’t have a nexus.
    pls visit my blog at android–news.blogspot.com