Google Wallet was introduced in 2022 to complement the existing Google Pay app as a way to create a new digital wallet that prioritizes convenience, security, and privacy. Now Google Wallet just got some amazing updates, and Android users will have a lot more time keeping all their essentials, like payment cards, loyalty cards, concert tickets, and more, on their phones going forward.
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What is Google Wallet?
Google Wallet is a secure store of digital credentials on your device, designed for quick and easy access. It contains digitized versions of items you’d carry around in your physical wallet, including IDs, tickets, and payment cards that you can use with Google Pay in stores. It’s pretty much the same idea as Apple Pay for iPhone users, where you can keep your payment cards on your phone and tap them at the checkout to pay for contactless transactions wherever Google Pay is accepted. Today, many places support Apple Pay and Google Pay. However, keep in mind that not all places you visit may accept it as a form of payment.
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What is GooglePay?
The Google Pay app is a payment and financial management app for those who want to
P2P (peer-to-peer) payments and get better visibility into their spend. Payment cards can be added to your Google Wallet from the Google Pay app, as I explain below.
How do I access Google Wallet?
If you have the Google Pay app, you can access your Google Wallet with the Google Pay app. If you want to access Google Wallet directly, download the Google Wallet app.
If you don’t have the Google Pay app and the Google Wallet app doesn’t come pre-installed on your phone, you need to download the Google Wallet app.
What are the new features of Google Wallet?
Photo, card or pass
One big change with Google Wallet is that you’ll be able to take a photo of any card or pass with a barcode or QR code and save it to your Google Wallet. This will allow you to add other cards that weren’t previously supported with Google Wallet, such as a gym membership card. All you have to do to use it is open your Google Wallet, tap the correct card or pass, and the barcode or QR code will appear on the screen. This feature is also already available on many Samsung phones.
Health insurance card
Another feature that I think will be of great help to you is that Google is partnering with Humana to support health cards with Google Wallet. Your health insurance cards will be able to be stored in your Google Wallet and will qualify as private passes, meaning you can only view them with a PIN or fingerprint so others can’t easily access them and steal your insurance information healthcare.
And another great addition is that some people will now be able to add their IDs, including driver’s licenses and student IDs, to their Google Wallet so they don’t have to worry about lugging it around. Having your ID in your Google Wallet has just become an acceptable way to prove identification in the state of Maryland, and will soon be legal in Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia as well. Google Wallet now also allows people to save their company IDs and badges on their Android phones.
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Digital car key
Now you can also experience the freedom of a lighter keychain by securely storing your digital car keys in Google Wallet. All you have to do is hold your phone near the car door handle and voila! Opens. Enjoy the convenience and security of digital car keys on the go.
At the time of publishing, this feature is initially only being introduced for select BMW models. However, digital car keys will soon be available for other car models in the near future.
Bring along everything you need to catch a show or cheer on your favorite team. Google Wallet will also display your ticket on the day of the event, so you don’t miss the opening act or first quarter. Plus, you’ll also be able to save things like train tickets and boarding passes right from your Messages app.
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How secure is Google Wallet?
When you tap to pay with Google Wallet, encrypted payment codes are used to hide your original card number. Your payment information remains confidential and is not disclosed to the merchant, ensuring the security of your payment information. This extra layer of security also protects your sensitive information from prying eyes.
Kurt’s key points
This is a significant update for Android phones and many of you will be thankful and using Google Wallet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves in a world without cards within the next 5-10 years. One thing is for sure, we are seeing a dramatic shift in the way we handle transactions and manage our finances. The main things I worry about are security and privacy, and as long as these big tech companies like Google address this to keep up with the criminals, we should be in good shape.
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