Google is updating its Google Wallet to include email funds transfers through Gmail, faster online checkout, and the ability for users to add loyalty cards, tickets and other items into their wallets. Google announced the changes at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco.
When Google initially launched the wallet, the ability to support Near Field Communication (NFC) payments at the point of sale was the primary supported function. The changes help to make the wallet more usable online.
“We are not pulling away from NFC. We are simply making a much richer Wallet experience. There are still places where NFC can’t be used, and not every device has it yet.” –Peter Hazlehurst, Google Wallet director of product management
Google Wallet has had its issues trying to grow use of its product at the point of sale. And rather than linger while it works out those issues, Google has added online functionality to give Wallet users something to work with. Both Visa and MasterCard similarly have focused on online use of their wallets, knowing point-of-sale use will take more time as consumers adjust to using their phones to do more than just talk to or text friends and relatives. Mobile wallets also have yet to demonstrate to consumers that they improve on the process of simply grabbing a card from a wallet and swiping it to make a purchase in a store.
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