Google today released a new version of its Google Wallet mobile payment platform that allows users to pay for goods with any of their credit or debit cards, the search giant announced today.
When introduced in May 2011, Google Wallet allowed MasterCard subscribers who also owned a near-field communication (NFC)-enabled Android handset to pay for goods by simply tapping their phone to a radio receiver in one of the retail locations that partnered with Google. It also provided a way for consumers to easily shop at online retail sites without having to repeatedly enter their financial information.
The new cloud-based Google Wallet app now lets users pay for items with VISA, American Express, Discover, or whatever other card you own. Feeling a bit uneasy about letting Google store your credit card info in the cloud? Robin Dua, Head of Product Management, Google Wallet, says the following:
The Google Wallet app now stores your payment cards on highly secure Google servers, instead of in the secure storage area on your phone. A wallet ID (virtual card number) is stored in the secure storage area of the phone, and this is used to facilitate transactions at the point of sale. Google instantly charges your selected credit or debit card. This new approach speeds up the integration process for banks so they can add their cards to the Wallet app in just a few weeks. Banks that want to help their customers save cards to Google Wallet, including their custom card art, can apply here — there is no cost.
Additionally, Google Wallet can be locked on your phone and disabled completely in the event your phone goes missing.