In perhaps the biggest announcement since it was unveiled two summers ago, Google Wallet headed for the cloud. An announcement from Robin Dua (head of Product Management) tells us that the shift means that Google Wallet will now support all major credit cards and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
To support all credit and debit cards, we changed our technical approach to storing payment cards. The Google Wallet app now stores your payment cards on highly secure Google servers, instead of in the secure storage area on your phone. A wallet ID (virtual card number) is stored in the secure storage area of the phone, and this is used to facilitate transactions at the point of sale. Google instantly charges your selected credit or debit card. This new approach speeds up the integration process for banks so they can add their cards to the Wallet app in just a few weeks.
For those who worry about security, the new cloud-based Google Wallet ensures that a lost or stolen smartphone will not spell certain doom and bogus charges. Users will be able to remotely disable their mobile wallet app from the web, adding even more peace of mind for the mobile payment option. Of course, the Google Wallet app still uses a password and Google always suggests using a PIN or lock screen on your device.