Living with the GWC Day 2, 'mo money 'mo problems?
Today is my second day field testing the Google Wallet Card. Today is Monday, December 2nd, 2013. Yesterday, Sunday, I added $20 from my checking account and it was spendable (available in GW) within a minute. Doing this is essentially ACH, so it shouldn't appear in my checking account online view for a couple/few days. Today, Monday, it is not visible nor has the amount been pulled from my available balance (even though I have already spent it using GWC). I went to the greatest coffee house in the world (Coffea, Lexington, KY) to try my GWC there, after seeing several things online about a trend of GWC's being declined. I previously used it at a Speedway with no problem. This time, for experimentation purposes- and because it does not say definitively anywhere what would happen- I tried to buy coffee with less than the amount in GW, to see if my saved funding sources would act as 'overdraft protection' or backup funding. They didn't and it was declined. So, we know that you have to have funds actually in GW for the Card to work. Got it.
So, I added money again from my checking account, just $5 this time, and waited for it to show up. Once it did I attempted to buy coffee but it was declined again. The charge amount was $8.46 (latte + breakfast pastry), but GW reflected a declined attempt for $10.15. She then ran the amount exactly for $8.46 but it still bounced. Below are my questions and suggestions for this product, and I hope my anecdote helps paint you a picture of what living with the Google Wallet Card is like.
1. What was the original purpose for the Card? More specifically, what is the mission statement for the Wallet division?
2. Please add check capture.
3. What is behind the declined swipe I talked about above? Is there something to be said for the backend processing for Speedway compared to my local coffee house?
4. There needs to be a clear way to see funds pushed to GW from my checking account. I feel many people will utilize this as it is free (to us) but as I mentioned earlier, it is spendable on each end, creating obvious overdraft potential for the consumer. Yes, there is the transaction history in Wallet, but when I check my bank balance that money is not accounted for and if I am sending funds to Wallet frequently, trying to keep track of my true balance will be difficult. Reversing this process (sending money from GW to my checking account) can take up to 10 days, which would incur me an overdraft fee.
5. Will there ever be some form of overdraft protection or backup funding using my connected payment sources? As in- not a line of credit- but simply instead of continuing to manage my GW balance (in addition to my other account balances), simply swipe the Card as normal and it points to my checking account debit card, or credit card, or whatever is on file and assigned as primary. Heck, have a 'go to' #1, #2, #3. Go To should also be manageable within the Wallet app. If a fee is assigned to Go To, like it is currently when adding funds with a cc, then it is a deal breaker. My bank does not charge me for overdraft protection, or using a backup funding method on the fly to cover me at the Point Of Sale, and they have to pay a processor also, so neither should Big G if the product wants to live.
6. I read somewhere that Wallet was folded into Marketing. Not important. What is important is direction and focus. The purpose of Wallet and the Card may indeed be to simply collect spending data for more targeted ads, and that is fine. For that to happen, and for advertisers to be convinced that Wallet is viable, Wallet and more specifically the Card need to be competitive and cost effective (talking about strong arming processing companies), or eventually it will end up in the heap. This idea is a good one, don't let it derail itself!