What You'll Like Least About It
Requires a specific phone – Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about Google Wallet as a tool to turn my mobile phone into my digital wallet. However, I'm less excited about the fact that I'll need to purchase a special phone if I want to step up to Google Wallet. Right now, the only phone that works with Google Wallet is the Sprint Nexus S 4G, but there are plans in the works to roll out more Google Wallet enabled mobile phones in the near future. For the techies among us, you will need a phone that is near-field communication (NFC) enabled.
Unless you opt for the Google PrePaid Card option, requires a MasterCard PayPass enabled credit card – Tagging on that downside is the fact that I'll need to apply for a special credit card from a special bank if I want to use Google Wallet. Currently, a selected group (think three) of Citibank's MasterCards are PayPass enabled and work with the Google Wallet.
An easy way around that disadvantage is to obtain a Google PrePaid Card, which can be funded with any of your current credit cards. As an enticing plus, Google is offering a cool $10 USD when you activate the card.
No power, no payment – If you are diligent about keeping your mobile phone charged and ready to use, this aspect probably won't bother you too much. (Personally, I'm in big trouble with this one, but I plan to buy a car charger with that new phone.)
Shopping options limited to participating merchants – Last but not least, just as the Android app is limited at this time to a special phone, your shopping experience will be limited to only those merchants who are tap and pay enabled. However, just like there are already plans in the works to introduce other phones that will be compatible with the app, there are plans to add to the merchant network.
Google offers a handy merchant locator service so you can check availability in your area. Since I live in a small, rural area, I was pleasantly surprised to find 92 merchants in my immediate area that accept Google Wallet payments. To use the locator, simple enter your zip code and click.