What is Google Wallet? Your Questions Answered

What is Google Wallet? Your Questions Answered
Google Wallet is Google’s mobile wallet technology, and one of several payment apps that customers use in Australia. Here's what businesses need to know.
by Square Jun 19, 2024 — 4 min read
What is Google Wallet? Your Questions Answered

Almost everyone in shops, markets and cafes holds their smartphones at checkout, using payment technologies like Google Wallet to make purchases. These systems use a contactless transaction called near-field communication (NFC) to transmit information from the mobile device to a payment reader. They’re also the fastest and most secure way to pay.

What is Google Wallet?

Google Wallet (formerly called Android Pay) is Google’s mobile wallet technology, and one of several payment apps that customers use in Australia (other popular examples include Apple Pay and Samsung Wallet).

Rather than taking their wallet out of their pocket, customers can use a device that’s likely already in their hand. Contactless mobile payments are just as fast, and in some cases faster, than tap-and-go cards. The transaction is processed on the spot – unlike credit or debit cards – which can take a few additional seconds while the chip and card are verified by the bank.

Here’s what you should know about Google Wallet.

How can my business accept Google Wallet payments?

To accept Google Wallet payments, your business will need a contactless payment reader, or EFTPOS (electronic funds transfer at point of sale) machine. You don’t need to be a large business to accept Google Wallet payments – businesses of all sizes can do it with Square Reader (which retails for $65, and is available here).

The benefits of accepting Google Wallet payments

Accepting Google Wallet payments offers several benefits for your business. Instant transaction processing reduces checkout wait times, which can enhance your customers’ experience and foster increased satisfaction and loyalty. Embracing mobile payments appeals to tech-savvy customers who prefer contactless payment methods. Google Wallet’s advanced security features also minimise the risk of fraud, ensuring both your business and your customers are protected.

Which smartphones and devices can use Google Wallet?

Google Wallet is compatible with most newer NFC-enabled Android smartphones, smartwatches and Fitbit devices. The Square Reader is also compatible with most Android devices, as long as you’re running Android 9 or higher, have location services enabled and also have access to Google Play. Check this list to see which Android devices are compatible with Square Reader.

How do I get set up with Google Wallet?

If you’re keen to start paying with Google Wallet, the first thing you’ll need to do is find the app on your smartphone. If it isn’t already pre-loaded, simply download it from Google Play. Next, you’ll need to add a credit or debit card by opening the app, tapping the ‘Add to Wallet’ button and confirming a few details. Then, to get going, you simply unlock your phone.

If you’re a business owner, it’s even easier to start accepting Google Wallet. Just order the Square Reader online. It connects to your Android device using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, so setup is simple and only takes a few moments. You can also learn more about how to start accepting contactless payments.

Which banks support Google Wallet?

Most major banks and credit card brands allow their customers to make payments with Google Wallet in Australia. The Google Wallet website has a full list of banks that currently accept this payment method.

How do I pay with Google Wallet?

To make a purchase with Google Wallet, simply open the app on your device and complete the transaction by holding or tapping your device over the EFTPOS machine. The transaction happens instantly, and you’ll hear a beep or feel a vibration on your device when it’s been approved. For transactions over $100, you’ll be prompted to enter your debit or credit card PIN on the payment reader.

How to pay with Google Wallet on your Android phone

Simply unlock your phone – you don’t need to open the Google Wallet app. Hold the back of your phone to the payment reader until you see a tick on the screen, indicating a successful transaction.

How to pay with Google Wallet on your Android watch

First, ensure that Google Wallet is installed on both your watch and phone. To pay in a shop, open the Google Wallet app on your watch and hold it over the payment reader until you hear a sound or feel a vibration from your watch.

How to pay with Google Wallet on your Fitbit device

Unlock your Fitbit, open the Google Wallet app, and hold your device over the payment reader until you hear a sound or feel a vibration. Note, some cards supported on Google Wallet with your phone may not be supported for Fitbit. Check the Fitbit website to see which banks support payments using Fitbit.

Is Google Wallet safe?

Mobile wallets are considered much more secure than many other types of card payments, and they’re a lot more convenient. Whenever you make a purchase, a payment confirmation pops up on your device along with the merchant’s name and amount paid. This lets you know what transaction occurred and where it took place – making it easy to identify any fraudulent charges. And in case of theft or loss, you can simply lock your device with Google Find My Device, which also allows you to delete any personal information.

What’s the difference between Google Wallet and Apple Pay?

Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile wallet option, meaning it won’t work on Android devices. You’ll need an iPhone with Face ID or Touch ID, or an Apple Watch to use Apple Pay.

It’s used by holding your phone above the enabled payment reader while your finger is on the home button until you see a tick on the screen, or by double-clicking the side button on your watch and holding it near the payment reader until you hear a beep or feel a vibration.

What’s the difference between Android Wallet and Samsung Wallet?

Samsung Wallet is a mobile wallet that’s exclusive to Samsung devices and is available on newer models of Galaxy smartphones and smartwatches. Samsung Wallet also works on contactless readers such as the Square contactless and chip + PIN reader. It uses a slightly different system to Google Wallet or Apple Pay. In order to open and use Samsung Wallet to make a payment, you’ll either swipe up from the home screen, tap the app icon or double-tap the side key, depending on your device.

While each of these mobile wallets differs in functionality, they all utilise NFC (near-field communication) technology to process transactions. Payment is initiated by holding your device above the payment reader until the transaction is confirmed. You can also use these mobile wallets to make a payment even while you’re in another app.

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