Google Wallet

Google Wallet Gets Updates, New Features

Google has announced several new updates to Google Wallet, including being able to digitize images to passes, save health insurance cards, and more. But note that some of the features are only available in limited cities and states, and with limited partners, for now.

With the ability to digitize images to passes, you can upload images with barcodes and QR codes and convert them into a Wallet pass. This means you could take a photo of your gym membership card, for example, library card, and others to create a digital pass directly in Wallet. It can also work with passes like transit QR tickets, parking passes, or e-commerce return QR codes.

Additionally, you can now also save private passes, like health insurance cards, in Google Wallet. These types of passes include a “private pass” label in the card details to easily help you identify them. Additionally, these types of passes require you to verify it’s you to add, view, and use them in Google Wallet. You can do this with your fingerprint, PIN, or other methods. The feature is launching first in the U.S. with Humana, and it started in the U.K. with HMRC. More partners are set to be announced soon, though it’s not clear if Canada will be included in this.

Google Wallet

While it’s limited right now to residents of Maryland, ID, you can save your driver’s license to Google Wallet if you have a valid one in that city and state. It works with any phone running Android 8.0 or later and can be presented as TSA PreCheck lines at select airports and, later this year, when booking a car with Turo or verifying online accounts. In the coming months, residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia will also be able to access mobile driver’s licenses via Wallet. There are no plans for a Canadian launch of this feature just yet, though.

Google Wallet

For travelers, you can also now integrate your boarding pass with Google Wallet by adding the boarding passes directly from Google’s Messages app. The feature is initially launching with Vietnam Airlines, with plans to expand to more airlines soon. Google is also working with Renfe, Spain’s largest train operator, to bring this functionality to its customers by sending a train ticket via RCS that you can easily add to Wallet. Restaurants can also use reservation systems like TagMe to send reservation details to customers that can be saved to the Wallet for future use.

Google plans to introduce corporate badges in Google Wallet later this year so employees can gain secure access to buildings, cafeterias, and other spots within the workplace by simply scanning their phone.

People in Germany can now save a Deutschland ticket purchased at select transit agencies to their Wallet and access all local public transport nationwide.

Since launch last summer, Google has rolled out Google Wallet to new devices in more than 20 additional markets for a global total of over 60, and plans to add new markets in the coming weeks. Google Wallet is available in Canada and can currently be used to store everything from credit and debit cards to COVID-19 vaccination records, concert tickets, loyalty cards, and more.