Skip to main content

Google Wallet is getting a little easier and safer

google-wallet3-1024x745
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google has been doling out new innovations left and right since its annual I/O conference started. While the conference is intended for developers, there is plenty of information that is equally beneficial to consumers as well. And we’ve been following closely to help keep you in the loop. One big announcement came with changes made to the company’s payment app, Wallet, taking it beyond the tap to pay history it’s had, and bringing it to the Web.

One of the biggest updates is that Google introduced the Instant Buy API to developers of external apps and websites. This will allow these developers to introduce Google+ sign-on to their customers, which in turn will speed up the shopping experience. As long as the user has already entered their information into Wallet, there’s no need to go through those motions again. Not only does it speed things up, but Google serves as an added security precaution since, when paying this way, the merchant never actually gains access to the full credit card number. This isn’t as big a deal when it comes to larger companies, but will give peace of mind as smaller businesses begin to adapt Instant Buy. To launch, the service will be available with Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Uber, and Priceline, which it used to demonstrate the service.

Another update is likely to keep up with Apple’s Passbook. Wallet will now allow its users to add any loyalty card with no restrictions. To boot, developers are being given access to this API as well, so they can help consumers sign up for their loyalty cards even easier. They’ll even be able to send push notifications if a user is nearby, alerting them to deals. Alaska Airlines, The Body Shop, and Marriott Rewards are just a few of the partners that the company will launch with.

And finally, users are going to be able to use Gmail to send money between Wallet accounts. That’s right. You can now email money. At launch, this will be limited to the Web version of Gmail, not the mobile app, though you will be able to make the transfer on your phone via the mobile Gmail site. If you’re sending the money from a bank account that you’ve already linked to Wallet, the service is entirely free of charge. However, there will be a charge made to your account if you opt to use a credit card or debit card (which both will still have to be linked to Wallet).

All in all, some exciting news. It’s difficult to say if We’re looking forward to actually trying these out firsthand.

Editors' Recommendations

Joshua Pramis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Spending a childhood engrossed in such technologically inspiring television shows like Voltron, Small Wonder, and Power…
What is Google Assistant? Here’s the guide you need to get started
Using Google Assistant on the Google Pixel Watch.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is huge news right now, thanks to chatbots like ChatGPT -- but did you know you can already access an AI on your Android phone? Google Assistant is Google's AI-powered voice assistant, and it's available on Android, iOS, and a large number of smart devices (like Google's Nest speakers). While not as capable as ChatGPT (yet), Google Assistant can handle an impressive number of tasks — including pausing and resuming songs and videos, making tasks and reminders, and in some cases, even taking and screening phone calls for you.

That may seem like a lot, but Google Assistant is relatively simple to use. If you've never used a voice assistant before, we've got this guide to help you get to grips with it and take your first steps.
What is Google Assistant?

Read more
5 things we’d love to see at Google I/O 2023 (but probably won’t)
Google Pixel Watch on a wrist.

Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, kicks off on May 10. Don't let the words "developer conference" put you off, though, as Google I/O is one of the biggest and most exciting shows of the year.

We've already covered what we expect to see at Google I/O 2023, and that list includes the Pixel 7a, Android 14, and even a Google Pixel Fold. But although those are all things we're really looking forward to and expecting to see, there are a number of reveals we'd also love to happen ... but are extremely unlikely to appear on the grand stage.

Read more
The one thing the iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7 all get wrong
Apple iPhone SE (2020) being plugged in to charge.

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year, new smartphones broke cover as one would expect. I won't bore you with all the details; Digital Trends' Joe Maring and Jacob Roach wrote an excellent roundup of all the best MWC 2023 announcements already.

One key quality-of-life-improving feature we picked up on as a theme was charging speed. Apple, Samsung, and Google, the mainstream phone brands by coverage (even if not all by sales), stick to a fast-charging average speed of just over an hour — even with the latest iPhone 14, Galaxy S23, and Pixel 7. By comparison, a phone from Xiaomi, Oppo, or OnePlus can get you moving in 30 minutes or even less. It's time to demand more from our phones.
Fast charging exists — just not for you

Read more