Google Wallet Expands Features as a Comprehensive Digital Wallet Solution


Key Takeaways:

  • Google Wallet, which became a standalone app last year, is now positioning itself as a one-stop shop for storing government-issued IDs and passes.
  • The upcoming feature allows users to create digital versions of barcode or QR code-based passes by simply taking a picture within the Wallet app.
  • Google recently completed a beta test in Maryland, enabling state-issued IDs to be used at TSA PreCheck lines, with plans to expand the use of digital IDs for car rentals and online account verification.
  • Partnerships with Humana and the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs allow health insurance cards and National Insurance Numbers to be stored securely in Wallet.
  • Users of Google Messages will soon have the option to save boarding passes and train tickets directly to Wallet, with Vietnam Airlines and Renfe as initial partners.
  • Google’s future plans include adding corporate badges to Wallet for workplace access and expanding Wallet to more markets in the coming weeks.

In Detail:

Google Wallet, following its separation from Google Pay, is evolving into a comprehensive digital wallet solution, offering convenient storage for government-issued IDs and passes that were previously challenging to save in the app.

One of the standout features coming to Wallet is the ability to import barcode or QR code-based passes, such as loyalty or gym membership cards, by simply taking a picture. This functionality, although the release date remains unspecified, aims to digitize various cards and consolidate them within Wallet.

Google has also been conducting a beta test in Maryland to include more digital IDs and driver’s licenses in Wallet. The completion of the beta test now allows Maryland residents to use their state-issued ID at TSA PreCheck lines in selected airports. Google plans to expand this feature for car rentals and online account verification later this year.

Additionally, Wallet will soon enable users to store health insurance cards through a partnership with Humana. In the UK, individuals can store their National Insurance Numbers via the HM Revenue and Customs app. These cards will carry a “private pass” label, ensuring sensitive information is protected, and users will need to authenticate using a fingerprint or PIN to access and use them.

For Google Messages users, the upcoming feature will allow the saving of boarding passes and train tickets directly to Wallet. Vietnam Airlines and Renfe, Spain’s train operator, will be the initial partners to utilize this functionality.

Google has ambitious plans for Wallet, including the addition of corporate badges for workplace access and expanding Wallet to more markets in the near future. While some of these features have been available on Apple’s Wallet app for some time, Google is catching up by enhancing Wallet’s capabilities as a versatile digital wallet solution.