Google Wallet will soon move past simply storing credit cards to storing other types of cards like airline passes, loyalty cards, and even ID cards.
According to Mobileburn Google discussed the features in a Google Developers Q&A YouTube video (below). In the video product head of Google Wallet Robin Dua confirmed that Google Wallet will move beyond its current use. When asked how the service would move beyond mobile payments he said:
“One of the types of things we’re trying to do is make it easy for airlines, transit providers, and other types of issuers of credentials to make it super simple for them to get their credentials stored in the wallet…That’s the goal. We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device.”
The features he describes remind us of Apple’s upcoming PassBook and the Wallet feature in Windows Phone 8. Both apps will store loyalty cards and passes for airlines or concerts. Apple could also use PassBook for mobile payments, though without NFC it will have to rely on virtual cards like the ones from Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts.
We like the idea of Google expanding Wallet to include more virtual cards. It seems silly to carry around a wallet for loyalty cards if the store accepts Google Wallet for payments. Using the same app for a loyalty card and a credit card just makes sense.
As Dua said, the new features will bring us closer to leaving our wallets at home and only carrying smartphones. We don’t know when these features will come to Google Wallet, but we assume the company will release them sometime soon before Apple and Microsoft get too much of a headstart on the features.
We just hope Google can convince other carriers to support Google Wallet so more users can take advantage of the new features. Hopefully the Mobile Payments Committee will help with that.