Really? That's strange. I used it on my rooted phone for about $300 worth of Christmas purchases today at the mall. I think your information is incorrect. You can use it rooted, you just need to read up on how to do it.
Google Wallet is wonderful. My phone is password protected, plus the Wallet itself is PIN protected. None of my actual credit/debit card numbers are visible in the application, so it's actually safer than using the actual cards. Cerberus, also on my phone, which allows me to track my phone, snaps a picture and emails the picture to me if someone keys in my password twice incorrectly, can record video/audio/pictures remotely, and of course, can wipe the phone completely, I'm much more afraid of losing my real wallet with my real credit cards than I am of losing my phone.
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