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Google Wallet is back and it has some new tricks

If you’ve ever left your wallet at home, chances are you didn’t know you forgot it until you started paying for your groceries or got pulled over by the police for speeding. The problems that come with forgetting your wallet will soon become a thing of the past thanks to the new Google Wallet for Android 13, not to be confused with the Google Wallet from the past.

Introduced at Google I/O 2022 on Wednesday, Google Wallet resembles Apple Wallet in that it allows users to carry their credit or debit card. This way, if you ever forget any of the physical payment cards at home, you can pull your Android device out and tap to pay for your groceries and other items at any retailer that accepts Google Pay.

Courtesy: Google Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google Wallet will store more than just your payment card, however. The app will carry your student ID (if you attend a college or university), your flight boarding pass, a virtual car key to turn on your vehicle, and a park pass for any theme park you visit, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and Six Flags.

For security reasons, any card you put in the Google Wallet that contains your sensitive personal information, like the aforementioned vaccine card or your health insurance card, is stored in your Android device and won’t be shared with third-party companies. It won’t even be shared with Google itself.

Google is also working with governments in the U.S. and around the world to implement digital IDs into Google Wallet, starting with driver’s licenses, later this year. The NFC and QR code features will enable users to share their ID information with another person without giving them their phone. Google is the second company to use digital IDs and expand their scope after Apple introduced digital IDs to iOS users in Arizona back in March.

Google Wallet will begin rolling out (again) to Android and WearOS devices worldwide in the coming weeks.

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Cristina Alexander
Cristina Alexander has been writing since 2014, from opining about pop culture on her personal blog in college to reporting…
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