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Google Wallet for every card

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

Google's virtual wallet on your smartphone now can carry any debit or credit card in your physical wallet.

The search engine giant on Wednesday said any debit or credit card can be uploaded onto its Google Wallet through cloud technology, a huge advancement from Wallet's previous ability. Before, it only could store some Citi MasterCards and the Google Prepaid Card.

Now, simply enter your credit card number -- doesn't matter if it's Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover -- into the mobile app, online wallet or Google Play store and the virtual Wallet saves the data. That information is stored in a Google server, or cloud, as opposed to on the phone's microchip, which is how the previous Google Wallet version worked.

This change in technology makes it easier for issuers to include their cards in Google Wallet, the company said.

Google also added a new security feature, in addition to its personal identification number, that allows consumers to disable their mobile wallets remotely, in case you lose your phone, for example. When the wallet is disabled, Google won't let any transactions go through from the smartphone.

Unfortunately, Google Wallet is only available on six phones from Sprint and Virgin Mobile, along with the new Nexus 7 tablet.

Mobile payments look like the way of the future, and Google's not the only game in town. A venture among Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile has created the Isis Mobile Wallet, which is currently debuting in Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City.

The Isis wallet can load several American Express cards, Capital One Cash and several Chase credit cards along with loyalty cards. It also provides a reloadable cash card that can be funded from any of your current debit or credit cards.

Soon, leather wallets may go the way of the VHS. My question is: How do you store your driver's license?

Have you used a mobile wallet? Tell me about your experience.

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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6 Comments
Phil Alexander
August 07, 2012 at 11:37 am

Great article. I've been saying for the last few years that physical exchanges will be the thing of the past. I have not used Google Wallet yet but love the idea. I cannot tell you when the last time someone showed me a actual picture of their child. However, everyone pulls out their phone and shows either pictures or videos. Welcome to the future.