Google Wallet is a free Android app that comes preinstalled on eligible devices, it turns your mobile phone into your virtual wallet, so you can make purchases at any contactless payment terminal using virtual versions of your credit and debit cards, rewards cards, gift cards and Google Offers. Google Wallet stores your credit and debit cards online on secure servers. Your Google Wallet device has a chip called the Secure Element that stores encrypted payment card information. Additionally, because Google Wallet enforces a PIN, the only way to transmit payment credentials is if you first enter the PIN.
What is the Secure Element and how secure is it?
The Secure Element has many features designed to protect the security of the data it stores. It's separate from the phone's main operating system and hardware, which enables encrypted protocols to enforce access control. Only authorized programs like Google Wallet can access the Secure Element to initiate a transaction. There are multiple levels of protection for data stored on the Secure Element and it is protected at the hardware level from snooping or tampering.
Virtual prepaid MasterCard card
Your Google Wallet app transaction is made using a virtual Google Wallet card by The Bancorp Bank, Google Wallet's partnering bank. This account information is passed to the merchant at the time of a transaction. Google Wallet then charges your selected debit or credit card for the full amount of the original purchase. You may see the last four digits of your virtual prepaid MasterCard on the receipt of your purchase.
Watch this video to learn more about the Google Wallet app.