Google Wallet took another leap forward in the mobile payments game last week when they announced that they are partnering with Discover to let Discover cardholders save their credit card information to Google Wallet and pay for purchases via smartphone.
Sanjay Gosalia, Discover’s director of mobile, said in a press release, “Our cardholders regularly use their Discover card to make purchases and payments online, in-store and now more frequently through their mobile devices. By offering the ability to join Google Wallet through our Account Center, Discover is providing our cardmembers with even greater flexibility and convenience when it comes to paying for their purchases.”
Online or by Phone
Discover card members can also use Google Wallet online, simply by adding their Discover card account information to Google Wallet, which they can do directly from the Discover website. Robin Dua, the head of product management at Google Wallet, was enthusiastic about this option. “By providing a simple way for cardholders to securely add their credit card to Google Wallet directly from the Discover website, we’re extending the opportunity to pay with Discover through Google Wallet at hundreds of thousands of merchants.”
With just one click, customers can choose to make their Discover card their primary payment method for Google Wallet. When making purchases through Google Wallet, cardmembers will still earn their usual cash back bonus, making it easier than ever for Discover members to earn rewards for spending money on their Discover cards.
Near Field Communication is the Key
The entire mobile revolution is due to the growth of Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows devices to “talk” to each other across the airwaves. NFC is the technology behind contactless payments systems like MasterCardPayPass and other EMV chip credit cards. Any payment method that allows cardholders to “wave and pay” instead of sliding their magnetic-stripe card uses Near Field Communication – which is rumored to be coming to the iPhone this fall when Apple releases the iPhone 5.
If the new iPhone is NFC-enabled, that will really put a jump on the mobile payments industry, allowing iPhone users to pay with a wave of their phone. Google and Discover teaming up is potentially big news, since more American households have Discover cards than any other type of credit card.
Some people may still be hesitant to use NFC technology and contactless payments, but as these technologies become more common, customers – especially older people, who are traditionally slower to adapt to new technology – will grow accustomed to paying for things with a wave of their phone.
Upcoming Cash Back Bonus Categories
Whether or not they have a smartphone or use Google Wallet, Discover card members should remember to sign up for the next round of seasonal cash back bonus rewards.
Starting in October, Discover card holders will earn five percent cash back on every dollar they spend at department stores, toy stores, electronic stores and movie theaters – but they have to sign up in order to get the extra cash back. Customers can sign up now for the best discover cards online or over the phone, and purchases will earn a bonus whether they are made with Google Wallet or a good old-fashioned swipe of the credit card.