Monday, January 5, 2015

Google Wallet, Venmo, and Credit Card Hacking

I have been using Google Wallet to pay for things about a month now.  I usually paid the bills at Wegmans, Panera Bread, and McDonald's with the Google Wallet app on my smartphone.  Then I ordered a Google Wallet card to use at vendors who do not accept payments via the smartphone.  The Google Wallet card is a MasterCard card and is accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted.  Now I can use Google Wallet everywhere.  I used it for the first time last week at Target.  It worked without a hitch.

It is ironic, at least to me, that I used my Google Wallet card at Target.  When credit cards were hacked a little more than a year ago at Target, my bank debit card was one of the cards that were compromised.  My bank quickly gave me a new debit card, and I lost no funds as a result of the hack.  Now if Target is hacked again, my bank account will be safe, or at least safer, as long as I use my Google Wallet card when I shop there.

Speaking of being hacked, my bank debit card was hacked again at Staples.  Again, my bank quickly gave me a new debit card last week, and I have not lost any funds as a result.  It was hacked this past September, well before I started using Google Wallet.  If I had been aware of Google Wallet and its capabilities before Target was hacked, my debit card would have never been compromised.

As a result of being compromised again, I have been updating my debit card info with my new debit card in all the places where I use a debit card.  One app that I use to transfer funds to another person is Venmo.  I went to edit that app on my smartphone to add my new debit card as a funding source and delete my old credit card.  After I did that, I realized something.  Venmo stated on that app that the app will charge 3% if I use my debit card as a funding source for the app.  However, I have not been charged anything extra when I use the app.  I realized that it was my bank account that I had deleted from Venmo instead of my old debit card.  I am not charged extra if I use my bank account as a funding source.  I have now added back my bank account as a funding source, and it is my primary funding source when I use Venmo.

I was mad at myself for being careless and deleting something that I did not want to delete.  Now I am glad I made that mistake.  Why?  Because I noticed on Google Wallet that when I transfer funds from my bank account to my Google Wallet account, I am charged a little extra.  I am using my debit card as a funding source instead of my bank account, thus I am being charged a little extra.  It works like Venmo does.  I am now in the midst of changing my funding source on Google Wallet to my bank account instead of my debit card.  I should no longer be charged extra when I do a funds transfer.  One mistake on Venmo made me realize I had made a mistake on Google Wallet.  Who knows how long it would have been before I discovered I did not have to pay extra when doing fund transfers in Google Wallet.  At least I know now.  Live and learn!

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