Tell us about your experiences with Marketplace. Enter To Win
Codebreaker

Google suspends prepaid card payments on Wallet

John Moe Feb 14, 2012

It seems that there was a pretty huge security flaw in Google Wallet, the pay-by-smartphone system widely touted as being the next big thing in giving other people your money. A few days ago it was revealed that if there is a prepaid balance on your phone and someone steals it, they can get at the money by clearing data in your settings and then making up a new PIN. Now, Google has stopped Wallet from accepting new prepaid cards, temporarily at least, until it can fix the problem.

Meantime, Google says if you make your phone accessible only when there’s a password enabled, you shouldn’t have a problem. Still, this is a pretty dumb hole for Google to have not caught previously. And it’s a pretty troubling goof up for a product that people would reeeeeeally need to trust before entrusting it with their money. Until I know that all the kinks have been worked out for NFC (near field communications) payments, I’ll stick with the debit card in my wallet or, here’s a crazy thought, cash. 

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.