Exactly two years after launching the Google Wallet Android application, the Mountain View company has now decided it’s time to bring the Google Wallet app for iOS users. However, at the moment, by iOS users we mean only iPhone users, as the app is destined exclusively for them. By using the Google Wallet app, you can store credit, gifts, coupons and loyalty cards and also transfer money to others.
Previously, the Google Wallet Android app required that in order to use it, a phone would need to have NFC, especially needed for making contactless payments. Who knows, maybe the next step is to release a Windows Phone application, as well. By using the app, iOS users from the U.S. will be able to add debit and credit cards for sending money and making purchases online by scanning them.
In its blog post, Google said the following, referring to loyalty points:
Add all of your existing cards into the app by scanning the barcodes or entering your card numbers. Or, you can easily join new programs like Alaska Airlines, Belly, and Red Mango from within the app and redeem at checkout. For these merchants you can view your loyalty status and rewards balance, and you’ll also see your saved loyalty cards in Google Now when there are nearby opportunities to use them. Other exciting programs that we’ll be adding soon include Avis Car Rental, BJ’s Restaurants, Cosi, Hard Rock International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Raley’s, and The Body Shop.
Google obviously tries to compete with the likes of PayPal and want consumers to think of the Google Wallet as a secure digital wallet. For that, Google wants to make sure you know that Google Wallet transactions are being monitored 24/7 for fraud. Also, with the Google Wallet Purchase Protection, you’re covered for eligible unauthorized Google Wallet transactions. Also, if it so happens for you to lose your iPhone, you can still disable the Google Wallet app online.
The big drawback, of course, remains the fact that the service appears to be U.S. only, meaning you can only send money to U.S citizens. Apple still hasn’t a serious digital wallet solution, as Passbook is just a place for you to store digital tickets, coupons and loyalty programs. But I have a feeling that they will do something about it in the near future.