Mountain View, California -- Google had already made it easier to never forget your wallet, but now the company in a fresh attempt to further boost its Wallet service on a more mainstream path to wider adoption with U.S. consumers as the system is moving to the cloud, it is expanding its online billfold, meaning it should be able to accept all major credit and debit cards.
Google's nifty cloud-based service can now handle payments for credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
The latest version of Google Wallet now boasts a feature that makes paying with a cellphone making it a true reality for non-techie users. Specifically, Google Wallet now accepts all major credit cards as part of the search giant's new cloud-based version which enables the use of virtual plastic from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover while shopping in-store or online. The upgrade also offers remote disability of the mobile Google Wallet app from the Web.
Robin Dua, head of Product Management for the Google Wallet team, explained in a blog post that consumers can use any card when shopping in-store or online with Google Wallet.
The search giant on Wednesday unleashed the renewed version of its digital wallet, switching things up by storing cards on a “highly secure” Google server instead of concealing them in your phone. A wallet ID, or virtual card number, is kept in the phone's secure storage area and used during transactions.
“This new method speeds up the integration process for banks so they can add their cards to the Wallet app in just a few weeks,” Google said in a blog post.
The service allows users to tap their smartphones to pay at a retail checkout location, rather than having to swipe a credit card or shell out cash. In-store payments are handled via NFC, although few phones right now have native NFC capability. Google's Wallet site lists six for the United States, offered through Sprint and Virgin Mobile. The list includes Google's own Nexus 7 tablet. Plans have been made to enable other phones to use NFC via a sticker that is added to the case, but this has not come to fruition yet.
As a matter of fact, the process is simple: In order to save a card to the virtual wallet, just enter the printed number into your phone, and use the on-screen credit card to make a payment. Just after the purchase, a transaction record will appear on the phone, with the merchant name and dollar amount. All online receipts are saved in the digital wallet for instant access.
Furthermore, in order to ward off a stolen smartphone from being a security problem with Wallet, all credit card numbers are stored on Google's servers and not on the phone itself. Google claims the only identifiable thing stored in the phone is a number that identifies which wallet is associated with the phone. Besides, the upgraded version of Google Wallet ensures that users should be able to remotely disable their mobile wallet apps using an online portal.
In addition, many major retailers have also signed on to use Wallet, including Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Foot Locker, OfficeMax, Toys R Us, CVS, Sunoco, and Radio Shack.
The new Google Wallet app is available for download on Google Play. Also, to see Google's virtual wallet in action, watch the company's video below.