News by Andrew Kameka on Tuesday September 17, 2013.
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A new Google Wallet Android app is rolling out now that should make the mobile payments and storage app more useful for sending money and monitoring rewards or discounts through a smartphone. No longer just a way to send NFC-based payments, Wallet lets users send money to an email address the same way in a fashion similar to the way someone sends money through PayPal. Money can be deducted from a Wallet balance for free or deducted from a linked debit/credit account for a fee.
Wallet has added a purchase timeline that reveals all transactions. The purchase list includes items from the traditional NFC payments, email payments, and purchases made through Google Play or online. Google has been transitioning Wallet into being a single payment infrastructure behind the scenes, and this update completes those efforts.
Google did an about-face on loyalty cards. Google announced in August that it would end support of NFC redemption of loyalty cards; however, today's update includes loyalty cards for a variety of businesses. Users scan the barcode to have the card number added to Wallet and then open the app in stores to have the card read by scanners. Wallet will even show reminders when a user is near a business that has a loyalty program (as well as get reminders about nearby Google Offers). Avis, Cosi, and Marriott are a few of the included partners.Google Commerce
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.