Google Wallet, a popular mobile payment system, has been a handy app that turns the phone into a wallet allowing users to pay for goods through the device.
Google has released a new Cloud-based version of Wallet that supports all major credit and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, according to a post on Google Commerce. Initially, the app was used to connect either a Citi MasterCard or a Google-branded pre-paid card when purchasing goods.
The new version will reportedly allow users to utilise any card whenever he/she shops in-store or online from Google Wallet. If the user does not want to use the service, he/she can disable the mobile wallet app distantly via Google Wallet account on the web.
Users can save a card to Google Wallet by just entering the number into the app during the purchasing of the goods. "To support all credit and debit cards, we changed our technical approach to storing payment cards," claims Robin Dua, Head of Product Management, Google Wallet. "The Google Wallet app now stores your payment cards on highly secure Google servers, instead of in the secure storage area on your phone," writes Dua.
A wallet ID (virtual card number) will be issued to a user that will be stored in the secure storage area of the device. The wallet ID will be used to facilitate the transactions during the purchasing of goods. It can be considered as a major security feature since the vendor will receive the wallet ID instead of the user's credit or debit card credentials.
In case the user loses his/her phone, then the Google Wallet's security feature will make it easy to remotely disable the Google Wallet. To do so, the user should visit the devices section in the online wallet and then choose the phone to be disabled. The company has partnered with several retailers such as Macy's, GUESS, Bloomingdales and Foot Locker.
The move made by Google could help it to have an edge over its competitors such as PayPal and Isis. "It's a broad-side shot at both Isis and PayPal," said Richard Crone, chief executive of payment-consulting firm Crone Consulting LLC, according to The Wall Street Journal. PayPal spokesman Anuj Nayar reportedly said that the company was set to have more than 20 national US retailers on board "as well as tens of thousands of small and medium businesses in the US" by the end of the year. The company has plans to roll out the service internationally too. Google's changes are "another validation of PayPal's approach," said Nayar. "We've had a cloud-based digital wallet for well over a decade that's already regularly in use by over 110 million people," he adds.
Initially, Google Wallet was supported in Sprint's Nexus S 4G. The service is yet to arrive in the UK. But in April The Telegraph reported that Google had been given a major headstart on cornering the UK's "swipe and pay" mobile phone payments market with its Google Wallet. According to the report, the move was made after the European Commission delayed a rival project by Britain's big mobile operators. The Wallet was expected to arrive in the UK in time for the Olympics but it is not clear when it it will be available in the UK.
Check out the video below, courtesy Google: