Kim from Los Angeles writes:
What is Google wallet used for, and is Google wallet the same as Paypal? If I have a Gmail account, do I automatically have a Google wallet account, or do I have to sign up separately?
Google Wallet is an online payment system and smartphone app that allows users to store their debit cards, credit cards, customer loyalty cards and gift cards on their smartphones.
It is available for both Android and iPhones. Microsoft has their own version of Wallet for Windows Phones.
If you already have a Google Account you can add Google Wallet by signing in with your existing username and password at wallet.google.com.
You can then add payment methods and your billing information.
You can use your Google Wallet to make purchases in the Google Play store and also to pay for purchases at thousands of websites.
In order to use Google Wallet at retail locations, you’ll need to download the app from the app store for your phone.
With the app you can also send money from your bank account to any friend in the United States with an e-mail address.
With the app you can also store your rewards and loyalty point cards from businesses in your phone instead of packing a wallet full of plastic cards.
If you have a device enabled for NFC and are shopping at a store that accepts contactless payments, you can simply tap your phone to pay for purchases using your Wallet balance or with a debit or credit card.
Google promises 24/7 fraud monitoring and if your phone is lost or stolen, you can disable the app by logging into your Google Wallet Account.