Google Wallet is now cloud-based, supports any type of credit or debit card, and it is safer than ever before thanks to secure storage and remote disabling.
U.S. carriers are extremely stingy about letting Google put the Wallet app on its own operating system. While Sprint and its Virgin subsidiary have Google Wallet enabled on most of their new Android phones, Verizon has outright banned it—even on the Galaxy Nexus. AT&T and T-Mobile, which, with Verizon, are part of the competing ISIS Wallet standard. Both refuse to carry phones that use Google Wallet, but you can buy an unsubsidized GSM Galaxy Nexus that works on both networks just fine.
Google seems to have found another way around the ban, according to the the official Google Commerce blog:
“Today we’re releasing a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet. With the new version, you can also remotely disable your mobile wallet app from your Google Wallet account on the web.”
Google Wallet is simple: Card information is entered on the app, or on its new online wallet and Google Play, and manageable transaction records for in-store and online purchases appear on the phone (and now the Web!) immediately after payment use.
Google also instantly charges the selected credit or debit card. Well, when a user pays, the virtual card is transmitted to the merchant, but then the back-end charges the selected card. Note: It does not directly charge the card, because it is a proxy card.
- Google reportedly working on Google Wallet 2.0, as Sprint works to launch its own solution (9to5google.com)
- Google announces ‘Save to Wallet API’ at Google Wallet I/O session (9to5google.com)
- Nexus 7 updated to Android 4.1.1, most notably featuring Google Wallet (9to5google.com)
- Google Talk is down for most users (9to5google.com)
Google is taking security to another level now by storing cards on secure Google servers. The wallet ID, however, which facilitates transactions, is stored safely on the device. The folks in Mountain View even gave users the ability to remotely disable mobile wallet on a lost handset. Users simply have to visit the “Devices” section in the online wallet, and then select the lost device for disabling.
“If the Google Wallet online service can establish a connection to your device, it will remotely reset your mobile wallet, clearing it of card and transaction data,” explained Google. “There is no way you can do that with your leather wallet.”