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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Post Tour Review: Google Pay

At home, NFC payments are at most a minor convenience. The local safeway takes it, but Costco doesn't, and the gas stations and USPS definitely don't. At any given store, there's at most a 30% chance that NFC payments will be accepted, and they are never accepted at any restaurant.

During this year's trip, I switched my Google Pay to a no foreign transaction fee credit card, and to my surprise nearly all stores and restaurants accepted Google Pay. (The lone exception that I remember was the Deutsche Bahn train station) This is a huge advantage for someone with a US credit card in Europe. If you pay with a regular credit card in Europe, even one with an NFC chip built in, the cashier will sigh, look at you in exasperation, dig around for a pen, print out the receipt and have you sign it.

With Google Pay and an NFC receptor, however, your fingerprint authenticates you, and your transaction is like with a chip-and-pin credit card in Europe, except you don't even have to enter a pin. Everybody's happy, and you're no longer holding up the line at the supermarket checkout stand.

No, most hotels won't take NFC payments (I don't know why hotels are an exception), and some places demand cash, but I eventually programmed my wife's phone with Google Pay and she even got out of the habit of bringing a wallet to the store. Even if you don't normally use Google Pay, if you visit Europe, it's worth the effort of setting it up.


1 comment:

Lonely_Android said...

Uptake of Google Pay in NYC is much better than the BA apparently. Out here most places that take credit card accept Google Pay.