What is Google Wallet?

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Author's Note: What is Google Wallet?

I updated this article, and I'll go on record as saying that I am all for putting most of my info into the cloud and using my phone as my virtual wallet. Plastic doesn't seem all that infallible to me anyway. I have misplaced enough loyalty cards, and even the odd credit card, to wish that they were all digitally accessible. And I'm already sending credit card info all over the place via electrons and radio waves.

Recently, I traveled to a weeklong conference and there was only one credit card that I could possibly use to pay for the expensive hotel room. I was terrified for days leading up to the trip that something was going to happen to that card and I'd be rendered temporarily homeless. I didn't breathe a sigh of relief until they'd swiped it. Having the phone as a possible backup would have made me less of a nervous wreck.

My bigger digital wallet fear would be my phone battery dying and leaving me unable to pay and washing dishes in the back of a restaurant to cover a meal (not that that's a real thing these days). So I'd probably carry around a spare form of payment all the time for a while. But I've already managed to pretty much eliminate checks from my life using an online bill payment service. Getting rid of physical cards is the next logical step.

Of course, my phone doesn't have NFC, so I, like most people, will have to wait a while longer for the convenience of tap and pay.

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