Goole Wallet (smartphone payment system) is now available on Sprint if you have a Samsung Galaxy S4, Note II or HTC One. After downloading and launching the app, you will get a screen that says it’s setting up Wallet and that it may take 5 minutes.
Usually, when you get a message like this, it takes a few seconds. In this case, it actually does take 5 minutes so don’t do this with an almost dead battery or right before trying to purchase something at a store. I assume it takes this long because it has to setup the encryption and security for Wallet before it can start.
It will first ask for a PIN, then later you can add a credit card to your account. Once you are setup, when you launch the app, you will get a login screen asking for your PIN. It’s nice that the numeric keyboard is imbedded in the app so you get very large keys to login with.
Once in the app, you can add all your credit cards and even debit cards to your Wallet. It will ask for the card number, expiration date, CVC, cardholder’s name, and Zip code. It will then ask you to pick a color for your card so you can easily identify which card you are using.
Once you have added your card, you will get a screen like below with the funding source. If you enter multiple cards, you can select the default card to use for purchases.
You can also look at your previous transactions. After signing up for Wallet, I saw my Google Play app purchase, but it also listed an app purchase that I made 3 years ago using an old credit card. That was creepy.
Unfortunately, Google Wallet is not accepted everywhere credit cards are accepted. However, they are accepted where Mastercard Paypass is accepted. It’s also supposed to be accepted by apps and online merchants but frankly, the list is super short.
Also, Wallet has Google Offers integrated in the app so you can see offers from merchants nearby and get discounts.
For now, because of the short list of places where you can use Wallet, it’s not really ready for prime time. Once they get things rolling, I’ll love not having to carry a wallet full of credit cards.
Next time: Real life testing of Wallet.