Google Pay App: More Than Just a Gimmick

Google Pay App: More Than Just a Gimmick

Last updated on April 13th, 2019 at 09:05 pm.

How many of you have experienced this: you pull up your credit card statement online and immediately notice some transaction you don’t recognize? Luckily, the Google Pay app can actually help with that.

I’ve had unrecognized transactions a few times, and I know I’m not the only one. Sometimes when that happens, it could be that it’s something you really did buy. Yours truly is guilty of that.

Other times, though, try as you might, you just cannot remember buying something from some store in Sweden (or wherever). So, you call your credit card company and dispute the charge.

Fortunately (unfortunately?), credit card companies are well-equipped to handle this situation. That’s because it happens frequently – and that’s the unfortunate part.

It’s nice that credit card companies are so easy to work with on this sort of thing. But wouldn’t it be even nicer if you didn’t have to make that phone call in the first place? That’s where the Google Pay app comes in.

Truthfully, I’m not sure we can ever fully eliminate fraudulent charges. Still, the more measures we can take to lessen them, the better.

Don’t Swipe – Wave!

To be perfectly honest, I’ve known about digital payments, or “paying with your phone” for a while, but for a long time, I never really felt they were all that valuable. Although that changed when I started using the Google Pay app.

That said, what I have known is that I don’t like paying with cash very much anymore. I just hate fumbling around with paper bills. Worse still, having a growing collection of coins that only ever seems to lessen if I turn it in at the bank.

Meanwhile, I can’t use the money those coins represent.

When it comes to paying with the Google Pay app, I’ve long been sort of indifferent. Credit cards are easy enough to handle, and I always carry my wallet with me anyway, so I have never found them to be all that cumbersome in the way cash is.

Now, it just so happens that my Chase Freedom card often has 5% cash back when using it through the Google Pay app.

All you have to do is link your card within the app. Then, anything you pay for using the app earns you 5% back. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity. Google/Apple pay aren’t accepted everywhere, but they are accepted at many stores. And that list is only getting longer.

Sharing Isn’t Always Caring

The 5% cash back is cool enough, but of course, that doesn’t last. However, when I decided to give the app a go, I discovered one – these apps never share your card number.

The app “knows” your card number, but the transaction is charged to the app itself. As a result, it’s never passed to the retailer.

Essentially, you are adding yet another buffer. Your card is already something of a middleman between you and your bank account, but this is just another layer of protection. Not bad.

That doesn’t mean hackers can’t get your information other ways, of course. But if you’re using the app, it should certainly eliminate the “sniffing” scams that have victimized many people in the past.

Other Benefits of the Google Pay App

Not sharing your card number is easily the biggest benefit in my mind, but there are a few others as well. That may vary by app, but with the Google Pay app, for example, you can also add loyalty cards.

Personally, I have my Walgreens loyalty card added. This means I can also earn points on that card when I make digital payments.

Another benefit is sending and receiving money. There are already other ways to do this, such as through Paypal, but I personally like having things as centralized and simplified as possible, and I don’t think I’m alone in that feeling. As Google mentions, it’s great for “going halvsies” on a pizza with your friends.

I will definitely be using digital payments more in the future, and hopefully, you found this little tidbit useful. I know I am always looking for ways to make my finances more secure, as that can only help in achieving financial independence.


Bob Haegele

Hey there. My name is Bob and I blog about personal finance here at The Frugal Fellow. In particular, I focus on topics related to student loans, investing, credit cards, and sometimes sustainability. Interested in starting a blog? Find out how to become a blogger!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nice post! Do most CC cashback programs work via services like this or is it only one-off offers?

    1. Hey Nick, thanks for the positive feedback. And yes, you get your rewards points all year round. When you add your card to Google Pay (and, again, I assume Apple Pay as well), it works exactly like it would if you were paying with your good old plastic card. You get exactly the same benefits. Hope that helps.

      By the way, since you commented, I am subscribing to your blog right now!

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