As we move closer to a lifestyle where our phones are replacing our wallets, we've been anticipating the release of Google Wallet, an app that allows you to do exactly that – pay for things with your phone. For those of you who are a bit wary but still interested in participating in this shift from cash carrying to paying with the tap of your phone, here's how you can ease yourself into the comfort of paying by mobile.
Start with a cup of coffee. Starbucks is one of the first companies to embark on paying by mobile with their Starbucks Card mobile app. Different from the My Starbucks app, this nifty app available to iPhone and Blackberry users lets you see the balance of your Starbucks card, reload it and pay for drinks. If you want to dip your toes into how mobile payments work, I'd recommend starting with Starbucks Card. Besides, it's also a way to get your morning coffee faster.
Move on to MasterCard. All MasterCard users might notice you have a PayPass logo on your card. PayPass is the card company's automated "tap and go" payment method that eliminates having to swipe your card or provide a signature to make payments. How does it work? There is a radio antenna embedded in your card with a tiny microchip. You can pay with your PayPass enabled card, a key fob, or your mobile phone if you have a PayPass-enabled one. You may then tap your PayPass against a checkout reader which will send your payment details wirelessly and process the transaction with your bank. If you're skeptical of the security of the tap and go system, rest assured that transactions over $50 still require a PIN entry or signature for added security.
Gear up for Google Wallet. After you've gotten comfortable with Mastercard's PayPass, you'll be ready when Google Wallet is released, which is working in collaboration with Mastercard. More than just for making credit card payments, we're excited for Google Wallet in terms of its potential to bring real-time deals to our phones, replace boarding passes and gift cards and even keys.
Are you ready to start paying with mobile?