At the Google I/O developer conference this week, two new payment related initiatives were announced. One was the unveiling of Google Wallet. You may be thinking, doesn’t Google already support G Pay? The difference here is that this wallet allows U.S. users to store other documents beyond payment credentials including boarding passes, vaccination cards and alike. Here’s how FastCompany describes the features:
Google Wallet is a new service that will allow Android users to store everything from payment services to tickets to vaccine records. Google is a latecomer to the digital wallet space. Apple first introduced the concept with the release of iOS 6 in 2012 (though it wasn’t formally named Apple Wallet until 2015). While Google Pay has long allowed people to store digital payment methods, it has not allowed storage of other items for users in the U.S. or Singapore. (It does, however, in 39 other markets.)
Like Apple Wallet, Google Wallet will let users store credentials (like boarding passes, concert tickets, student IDs and loyalty cards), payment methods, and access tokens (such as digital car keys). It will also let them store vaccine records, assisting with access to facilities that insist upon proof of vaccination.
Future iterations, the company says, will support mobile driver’s licenses, hotel keys and office badges.
The other announcement introduces virtual cards to replace card credentials when shopping through the Chrome browser or on Android devices. Good thing the card networks introduced new BIN series. Here’s more about that development:
Virtual cards will be rolling out this summer in the U.S. Google said it will support Visa, American Express, and all Capital One cards initially, with MasterCard coming later this year. Chrome browser users won’t need to install any extensions or supplementary software.
“This is a landmark step in bringing the security of virtual cards to as many consumers as possible,” said Arnold Goldberg, vice president and general manager of payments at Google, in a statement. “Shoppers using Chrome on desktop and Android can enjoy a fast checkout experience when shopping online while having the peace of mind knowing that their payment information is protected.”
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group