Google Wallet: You Don't Need It, But You'll Want It

android, google wallet, sept 2011, bi, dng

Photo: Daniel Goodman / Business Insider

After waiting a week for our Nexus S 4G to update from Sprint, we finally got to try out Google Wallet.Yes, it works. Yes, it’s pretty cool.

No, it’s not going to replace your real wallet any time soon, so there’s no reason to run out an get a new Nexus S.

Still, Google Wallet is a nice little hint at the future. We’re not there yet, but the idea of using one device for everything from paying for your lunch to getting on the bus isn’t that far fetched. In fact, that’s the norm in many other countries.

For now, Google Wallet is more of a diversion than a practical way to pay for stuff.

Our biggest beef with Google Wallet is that if you don’t have a Citi MasterCard, you have to load up a prepaid Google card using a different credit card. It’s like using one of those Visa gift cards with a limited balance. And defeats the purpose of a seamless transaction.

You can bet Google recognises this problem, and it’s already working on partnerships with the other big credit card companies. It’s only a matter of time before they’re all on board with Wallet.

We took a break today to venture out of the office and see what we can buy with Google Wallet. Because it works on any MasterCard PayPass payment pad, we didn’t have to go far.

After receiving your automatic update from Sprint, you'll need to set up Google Wallet before you can start buying stuff. Tap the app to get going

You can flip through this little demo of how Google Wallet works. Let's skip it for now and start setting everything up

Select your Google account. You'll probably already be logged in. If not, you can sign in now

Create a four-digit PIN. You'll have to enter this every time you use the app, so don't forget it!

If you have a Citi MasterCard, tap this icon to enter your card's information. It'll be validated through Google and MasterCard

But most people will have to load up this prepaid Google credit card. Good news! Google gives you $10 for FREE when you first use Wallet! Awesome.

It took about a minute for our card to validate

There we go! Now we can start buying stuff! Let's see what's out there...

We're frequent customers at the Duane Reade across the street from Business Insider HQ. Let's get a snack

Yum, cookies! Time to check out and pay with our new Google Wallet account

After the cashier rings us up we're prompted to swipe our card. Instead, we'll use our phone's NFC chip to tap and pay

After launching the app and entering our PIN, we're ready to pay

All it takes is one tap...

...and the payment goes through. It only took a second

You're welcome!

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