Frequently Asked Questions.

Although merchants can easily accept Google Wallet, you still may have some questions about this new smartphone app and its offers.


Why did the four companies team up on the development of Google Wallet?

All four companies are global leaders in their respective industries and natural partners on this initiative. Google is the developer of the Wallet and is championing its vision. First Data is powering key parts of the Wallet through its Trusted Service Management (TSM) technology and helping drive its acceptance at merchant locations. Citibank and MasterCard are helping with the marketing and support of the Wallet.

Why is First Data part of this partnership?

First Data had a vision of an open, connected commerce future which aligned Google's vision. We brought to the partnership:

  • An ability to play a central role in simplifying a complex payment ecosystem to create value for our partners
  • Scale of millions of merchants and thousands of financial institutions
  • An unparalleled infrastructure on top of which we innovate and deliver a suite of solutions that span the entire mobile experience

No other company has the reach that First Data does across both the issuing and acquiring sides of the payments industry. We look at ourselves as both a partner and a catalyst on this project by helping get enough merchants on board to attract consumers as well as helping get enough consumers on board to attract merchants to quickly ignite the platform of mobile commerce.

First Data has the time-tested scale, industry relationships and security expertise to enable the broadest payments ecosystem as a strong, neutral provider/partner.

What role does the recently announced First Data TSM play in the Google Wallet?

The First Data Trusted Service Manager (TSM) provides the infrastructure, functionality and services to provide end-to-end lifecycle management of payment accounts on the secure elements of mobile devices. Simply put, the TSM is the underlying technology that securely connects physical payment cards into Google Wallet. Built as a service, it’s the most scalable and cost-effective TSM available today and one of the reasons the service was selected by Google to power key parts of its Wallet.


Will my existing payment terminals work with Google Wallet?

If you already accept Contactless Payments, such as MasterCard PayPass, you can accept Google Wallet. If you don't know, the terminal must be ISO 14443 or 18092 compliant; usually those terminals will show the universal contactless symbol. To order contactless terminals and accept Google Wallet, please contact First Data

Where do I get contactless terminals?

To order contactless terminals please contact First Data at 1-888-265-8147 or request a call back.

Do merchants pay card-present or card-not-present rates for transactions made via Google Wallet?

Merchants pay card-present rates.

Are there additional charges for payments via Google Wallet?

Merchants will not incur any additional charges for payments via Google Wallet.

How do I participate in Google Offers?

Please visit Google Offers page for more information.

How do I setup a loyalty program in Google Wallet?

This functionality is currently available only to a few Google Tap and Save merchants. Please bear with us while we prepare a scalable solution for all.

I want help with using / troubleshooting Google Wallet transactions or need more information.

If you're a First Data merchant, please call us as you normally would and we can help. If you're not, write to

What does a customer need to pay with Google Wallet?

  1. Google Wallet with tap and pay requires Android phones with NFC chips that run Android version 2.4 (Gingerbread) or higher. The first phone capable of running Google Wallet is the Nexus S.
  2. A customer must have a Citibank MasterCard credit card or
  3. a Google Prepaid Card. Customers can refill this prepaid card using any credit card.
  4. At this time no other type of card is supported.

How does a contactless transaction work?

  • Ring the transaction.
  • You may have to push the terminal's credit button
  • The customer will tap their mobile device on the reader (ask the customer to hold the phone an inch or so from the reader. The reader will light up and will beep as the card is read. On the display window of the cash register itself, it will say that the transaction is being processed, just like if the customer had used a physical card.
  • If you've set up their system to print a receipt, one is printed if the transaction was processed successfully, just like if the customer had used a physical card,

The customer tapped the phone on the reader, but there is no "beep" from the reader.

A few things to check:

  • Make sure that the customer has the display on the mobile phone on
  • Make sure that the customer enters the PIN for Google Wallet on their phone when prompted.
  • Ask the customer to open the Google Wallet app and make sure that NFC is on
  • If none of this works, have the customer use a physical card.

Product Information

What is Google Wallet?

Google Wallet is an Android app that turns your mobile phone into your wallet. You can tap and pay using virtual versions of your existing plastic cards, and you can save using Google Offers. Google's intention is that Google Wallet will be an open mobile wallet that will eventually hold everything you might put in your traditional wallet - paper and plastic excluded, of course.

What are some of the features of the Google Wallet?

The Wallet is:

  • Fast — tap to pay, zip through the line
  • Savings made simple — carry all offers and loyalty cards with you
  • Payment information is stored securely and encrypted with an application PIN and a Screen Lock can be enabled on the phone - together, these security features go beyond what's possible with traditional cards

There will be two main payment instruments:

  • Citi® MasterCard® credit cards with PayPass™ technology
  • Google prepaid card that enables you to pay and add additional funds (“top off”) using any credit card for free

After launch, the plan is to add even more payment instruments for consumers. Google Wallet is an open platform designed to eventually work with all banks, networks, carriers and retailers.

Is Google Wallet available to consumers today?

General consumer availability of Google Wallet will be late summer.

Can I use Google Wallet with my phone?

Google Wallet with "tap and pay" requires an Android phone running OS version 2.4 or higher. The phone must also have NFC and secure element chips. The first phone capable of running Google Wallet is the
Nexus S. Learn more about the Nexus S.

How much does it cost to use Google Wallet?

Nothing. Google Wallet is a free Android app. There may be fees associated with using the virtual cards stored on it, but these fees are likely the same ones you pay to use plastic cards. Please refer to the terms and conditions of your account supplied by your card issuer.

How does Google Wallet relate to Google Checkout?

Google Checkout is a service that Google provides to online merchants to help them accept and process online payments. Google Wallet is an Android app that stores credit card information and is used to make payments at brick and mortar merchants. At this time, Google Wallet and Google Checkout are not integrated.

What are Google Offers?

Google Offers are virtual coupons. You can find free offers on Google Search, Maps, Shopper, and other products. You can purchase prepaid Google Offers from the Google Offers Hub.

What is Near Field Communication (NFC) technology?

NFC is a new wireless technology that enables data transmission between two objects when they are brought within a few inches of each other. Smartphones enabled with NFC technology can exchange data with other NFC-enabled devices or read information from smart tags embedded in posters, stickers, and other products.

What is a Trusted Service Manager (TSM)?

The First Data TSM provides the infrastructure, functionality and services to provide end-to-end lifecycle management of payment accounts on the secure elements of mobile devices. Simply put, the TSM is the underlying technology that securely connects physical payment cards into Google Wallet.

The TSM provides a secure channel for transferring confidential account information to the secure element, issuing and provisioning mobile commerce services with guaranteed end‐to‐end security.

TSM addresses the biggest challenge to realizing simple, transparent mobile payments within the mobile commerce ecosystem: bringing multi-account services to different mobile NFC devices accessed through a variety of proprietary networks. The TSM is a key driver to accelerating mobile commerce and making it reach a critical mass. Built as a service, the First Data TSM is the most scalable and cost-effective service available today and was designed with security as a top priority.


What payment instruments does Google Wallet currently support?

At this time, Google Wallet supports two cards:

  • Citi® MasterCard® credit cards with PayPass™ technology
  • Google Prepaid Card.

In time, Google intends to support all the cards you keep in your wallet today. They are just beginning to work with other financial partners to make this vision a reality.

I have a Citi MasterCard card, but it doesn't have PayPass capability. Do I need a new credit card?

You may not need a new Citi® MasterCard® card, but you should use Citi's tool to check if your account is already eligible for PayPass™ transactions and capable of working with Google Wallet.

What is the Google Prepaid Card?

The Google Prepaid Card is a virtual card. You can fund this prepaid card with your existing plastic credit cards. And since it's purely virtual, you won't get a physical plastic card in the mail and you can tap and pay immediately after funds are added.

When will other cards be available on Google Wallet?

Google is working quickly with various partners to put new kinds of virtual cards in Google Wallet. In most cases, partner systems require modification and additional development to ensure things work smoothly with Google Wallet. First Data can help prepare financial institutions for inclusion in Google Wallet. Google and First Data will continue to announce new features and participants of Google Wallet as they become available.

Where can I pay using Google Wallet?

You can tap and pay using Google Wallet anywhere MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Currently, MasterCard PayPass is available at hundreds of thousands of merchants across the United States. Find out where it works now.

How does Google Wallet send payment?

When you're ready to checkout, look for the MasterCard® PayPass™ logo to see whether the merchant accepts contactless payments; you can also look for the universal contactless symbol paypassPayPass on the terminal. Tap your phone on the contactless reader and your Google Wallet will transmit payment details in a secure, wireless manner. Moments after you tap the reader, you will receive payment confirmation and you're on your way.

How far from the point of sale reader must my phone be to tap and pay?

Place your phone within one to two inches of the contactless payment reader to tap and pay.

Do I need a network connection to make payments with Google Wallet?

No, you do not need a network connection to make payments with Google Wallet, but your phone will need to be powered on.

Can I make payments with Google Wallet if my phone's battery has died?

At this time, it is not possible to use Google Wallet if your phone's battery has died.

How much can I spend with Google Wallet?

After adding your Citi MasterCard card to Google Wallet, you can immediately spend up to $100 USD. To access your full credit line, Citi will send you an activation code that you will have to enter into Google Wallet.

Will I be able to keep track of my transactions with Google Wallet?

At launch, Google Wallet will only record the time and location of transactions.

Security and Privacy

What if my phone with Google Wallet is lost or stolen?

Contact your credit card company immediately and they will assist you. We have built-in security that automatically locks Google Wallet application and safeguards all of your private information. In addition, we set up a toll free number for you to call, report the incident, and immediately deactivate your cards. In addition, you should report your lost or stolen phone and take the same precautions you normally would in this situation.

How does Google Wallet protect my payment credentials?

Your payment credentials are stored in a computer chip called the Secure Element. The Secure Element is contained within your compatible device. The Secure Element is like a self-contained computer — it is isolated from your phone's main operating system and hardware. Only trusted programs like Google Wallet can access the Secure Element to initiate a transaction. 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 is a highly robust device with many features designed to protect the data is stores. It's basically a standalone computer — it's separate from the phone's main operating system and hardware. Only trusted programs like Google Wallet can access the Secure Element to initiate a transaction. Strong cryptography is enforced on the chip itself, so only authorized entities can communicate with it (such as when payment credentials are being provisioned into it).

The Secure Element also contains hardware protections to prevent tampering. For example, there are multiple sensors (heat, light) to determine the integrity of the device so that any tampering (such as opening the case) will make the data unreadable. But even if data could be read with a very sensitive instrument, it's stored in a way that makes it extremely difficult to piece together.

If someone gets too close to my phone, could they read sensitive data from my Google Wallet?

No, readers can't glean sensitive Google Wallet information from your phone without your knowledge. The NFC antenna in your phone is only activated when the screen is powered on, and even if the antenna is on and in proximity of a reader, payment credentials can only be transmitted from the Secure Element if you first enter your Google Wallet PIN.

Am I liable for unauthorized transactions on credit cards stored with Google Wallet?

The same rules that apply to unauthorized use of your plastic card, apply to unauthorized use of a credit card stored in Google Wallet. Many banks apply a $0 liability policy for unauthorized use. For more information, please consult the terms and conditions of your account supplied by your card issuer.

Does Google know what I buy using Google Wallet, and from where?

Google Wallet does not currently receive data about what products you purchase with it. Google Wallet does record (locally on the phone) the time of an initiated transaction and which credential was used. Google Wallet also gives you the option to turn on a feature to record your location at the time of purchase. You can enable that feature from the Settings menu.

How can I clear my transaction history?

You can clear your transaction history from the History option on the main screen in Google Wallet. You can also choose to reset Google Wallet altogether, should that be necessary.

Will Google share transaction data from Google Wallet with third-parties?

Google may gather anonymized, aggregated usage metrics across many users to improve the product. Google will not share personally identifiable data with third parties unless required by law.