According to Google website, Google Wallet is designed and engineered to enable safe payments, going beyond the security level of traditional wallets and cards.
Google Wallet is locked with a PIN that needs to be entered before making a purchase to prevent unauthorized access and payments.
Security is enhanced by MasterCard PayPassTM, storing a user's encrypted payment card credentials on a tamper- and laser-resistant chip on the phone. This chip with multi-level security features on the hardware and software sides, and the chip is usable only when the Wallet app is unlocked. Separated from Android phone's memory, the chip can be considered a separate computer capable of running programs and storing data.
The secure encryption technology of MasterCard PayPass protects the payment card credentials as they are transferred from the phone to the contactless reader, Google website stated.
As long as the phone's screen is off, NFC is disabled to prevent skimmers to steal information from the phone.
Those don't want to add a credit card can use a Google Prepaid card funded outside of the Wallet app, using any major credit card.
When the phone is stolen, the users are recommended to call their issuing banks to cancel the credit cards.
Google Wallet is not the first player in mobile payment market. In places like Japan, Korea and Europe, mobile devices have been equipped with mobile wallet. Empirically, mobile payment may still entail some risk with the aggregated credit card data stored on a single platform, and the data being read, processed, transmitted and stored. Though the security level of Google Wallet is yet to be proven, users should always be vigilant about safeguarding their personal data.