Google‘s electronic wallet system has been around since like forever, but it hasn’t exactly caught on. This latest major push from Google, however, might just do the trick now that Google Wallet can be used to manage your gift cards, easily ask for money and just as easily send money, all from the convenience of your smartphone.
Google Wallet is already capable of handling your loyalty cards, but now it can also store your gift cards as well, relieving you of the stress of looking for the right card at the right time. Gift cards can be entered via a camera snapshot or by manually typing in the card info. It’s even easier if you receive such gift cards electronically, since you can simply just save it in the app. Google Wallet is also smart enough to notify you if you’re near an establishment that has a gift card in your inventory. For now, this feature is limited to a few stores like Best Buy, Nike, TGI Fridays, and more.
Google already allows you to pay for products using Wallet, but now it is making it even easier to pay friends and get paid in return. If a friend owes you a certain dinner share, you can conveniently send them a reminder via the app or even through Gmail, and they can just as conveniently pay you back right then and there. This feature is availably only in the US, for users ages 18 and above. Turning the tables around, should you owe any of your friends some money, you can also send them money using a linked debit card. Google waives the usual percentage-based transaction fee to make it even more hassle free.
These new features will be rolling out to the Google Wallet app, at least in the US, over the coming days. As a bonus, if you are using your smartphone, whether an Android or iOS device, in Spanish, Google Wallet will adjust its interface to that as well.