Google on Tuesday introduced a pretty substantial update to its Google Wallet app for Android, adding support to devices running Android 2.3 and up regardless if they have NFC or not. The update is part of Google’s effort to expand the functionality of its Wallet technology, which so far hasn’t really become a staple of everyday consumer diets. Meanwhile, Google Wallet is adding money transfers that will allow users to send dough peer-to-peer in the U.S.
With wider support being added, the app will also become available for subscribers on Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, though users won’t be able to make mobile payments in stores; the three aforementioned carriers already have a mobile payment initiative cooking, known as Isis, which also relies on NFC technology. However, the meat of Wallet’s update is notable for what is being added to the platform, not what other carriers don’t support.
In addition to money transfers, Google Wallet is also adding support for loyalty cards (just scan the card’s bar code or enter the card number), and changing the way Wallet handles discounts and promotions, which can be found through Google Search and Google Offers. As AllThingsD points out, the additions and reduced focus on NFC mobile payments in particular suggests Google might bring Wallet over to iOS.
“We want to bring Google Wallet to all smartphone users, and we’re working to do that as soon as possible,” a spokesperson said to AllThingsD.
As nice as that would be, I’m still waiting for Google’s All Access app for iOS, which Google hasn’t given an update on since the service was launched back in May.