Google’s digital wallet comes to life

On May 11, the first part of Google I/O, the annual conference organized by Google in San Francisco, was held. During this, the subsidiary of Alphabet announced the arrival of a generator of virtual bank cards, Virtual Cards, but also the return of Google Wallet, its digital wallet.

The Google Wallet brought back to life

Google Wallet is resurrected. It was buried in 2018 when it merged with Android Pay to become Google Pay. Mountain View has revealed that a new version of its virtual wallet is coming in the coming weeks.

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The application will allow its users to store their various cards, whether bank or loyalty, in order to use them directly with their smartphones or connected devices. It will also be possible to register their identity card, driving licence, concert tickets, vaccination certificates or membership cards.

Google Pay will not disappear from Android phones, however. The application recognized to exist primarily as a payment tool. Arnold Goldberg, vice president and general manager of payments at Google, describes Google Pay as ” a companion app to Google Wallet “. He adds, ” See [Google Pay] as a higher value application that will allow you to make payments and manage money, while the Wallet will really be that container to store your payment assets and your non-payment assets “.

Virtual cards, a feature designed to protect banking data

The conference was also the occasion for Google to announce its new Virtual Cards service. This makes it possible to generate a temporary card number in order to allow its users to pay online. Only Google will have access to the actual bank details. This is an additional protection in the context of online purchases. The Californian company is guaranteed not to take any commission on transactions.

Example of the virtual cards interface.

This is what the virtual cards interface might look like. Picture: Google.

During a payment on a website, the virtual cards will take care of creating a fake temporary card in order to avoid any risk of piracy of sensitive data. The functionality will be added directly to Chrome, Google’s web browser which is also the most widely used browser in the world. For the moment, its release is only planned in the United States for Visa, American Express and Capital One cards. Google has not communicated on a possible arrival of this service in Europe.

If Google is going back with the Google Wallet, it’s to catch up with iOS. Apple is one step ahead of the Internet giant: it already offered, last September, to digitize its identity papers within Apple Wallet.

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