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Google Wallet and NFC

New Google Wallet Works on All Android 2.3+ Devices even Without NFC

Google Wallet may not be the most popular product Google has launched but from the look of things, it may just grow to be one of the most dominant mobile payment tools of today.  Initially, to use Google Wallet, an application you install on your Android powered device, the device had to have Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and must have had Android 2.3 or later.  A new version of Google Wallet, the virtual wallet that allows you to keep your credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and loyalty cards and even redeem sales promotions, you now need to have a phone with Android 2.3 and later even without NFC.

Google Wallet NFC

This means that Google’s Wallet just expanded to cover the whole world – I say so because Android operating system is the most popular mobile operating system running on a majority of smartphones, phablets and tablets – and recently smartwatches, all over the world.  Google announced the new Wallet application today and categorically pointed out that phones and tablets no longer need to have NFC.  If you have a device with Android 2.3 and above, you can now download Google Wallet from the Google Play Store and set it up.

That’s not all the new Google Wallet is coming with, the new improved Wallet also allows users to send money to any resident in the US with an email address.  Once the application is properly set up, users can send money freely from their bank accounts or Google Wallet balances to recipients.  Alternatively, they can pay a little ‘premium fee’ to get funds from a linked debit or credit card.  Once money is sent via the new Google Wallet, a new feature on Gmail is enabled to let the user send money right from their PCs.  How convenient is that!

If you are fed up with carrying loyalty cards gotten from retail stores around, you can now input the card details into the new Google Wallet app if you have an Android device.  What you will do is fill in the card numbers into the application and score some points when you scan the application at the checkout.  Now, you can even tap into programs from other high end vendors including Belly, Alaska Airlines and Red Mango.  Google promises that more vendors will be added to the list, with the most immediate next being BJ’s Restaurants, Hard Rock International, Marriott International, Avis Car Rental, The Body Shop, InterContinental Hotels Group and Cosi.

The new Google Wallet app can also store all other store offers users come across when using other Google services including Google Offers, Search, Google+ and Google Maps which are redeemable from select retailers.  The application will also enable users to view all items they purchased through Google Wallet in one place.

As the world becomes more and more mobile, with today’s smartphones having more power and capabilities than last decade computers, Google Wallet and other mobile-based e-payment systems are growing in popularity.  Google is a direct competitor to PayPal and the new feature to send money via Gmail may be just what Google Wallet needed to make PayPal uncomfortable.

If you would like to give the new Google Wallet a try, download it from Google Play Store here

Sources: Google Wallet (Play Store) via CNET