Google Wallet receives significant updates, brings cloud support

by adrianpadeanu screenshot of

Chances are that in the near future Google Wallet will take on a mainstream path to a wider adoption in the United States taking into consideration that the system is moving to the cloud, which means that it should be able to accept just about all major debit and credit cards. The recently introduced cloud-based version of the application offers support for all debit and credit cards from MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

In the situation in which the user loses his smartphone or it gets stolen, the new version of Google Wallet allows the user to remotely disable the application by using an online portal. It is important to mention that the application is still utilizing a pin number in order to access it, while at the same time Google says that users of the software should have a screen lock for the smartphone for added security.

As a reminder, the first version of Google Wallet came out in mid-2011, with Google saying that the application is a very simple method of paying for the purchased products by using a smartphone that benefits from the NFC technology. However, there were some issues which postponed the mass adoption of this software not only among customers but also among merchants due to the reason that Google Wallet only offered support for a limited number of payment methods, such as Citi’s MasterCard and a Google prepaid card that owners can reload using any current credit card.

As opposed to a fully embedded system, Google Wallet can be considered as partially cloud-based because it can work offline for the actual payment by storing an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip but at the same time it will need an active Internet connection for switching payment options or adding a new one. Once selected, the credit card should stick in the system and as long as it remains selected the payment will be able to work offline. The only limitation is that the user can have only one credit card selected at one time.

Despite the recent update, it will still take some time until Google Wallet will become a standard procedure because the application requires a smartphone or a tablet with support for NFC. The good news is that Google has already taken a huge step forward by implementing support for the four major credit card companies, which should make the application more desirable not only among clients but also among merchants.

Author: Adrian Padeanu