Google Wallet is about to become as close to a real wallet as an e-wallet can get. Google is reportedly planning to integrate third-party IDs, credit cards, cash, loyalty cards, boarding passes and more. If plans push through, you may not have to bring your actual wallet when you leave home.
As reported by Mobile Burn, Google Wallet head of product management Robin Dua said the company's long-term plan for Wallet goes beyond just mobile payments. Because the system is already used to personal information in lieu of loyalty cards, Wallet can therefore be expanded to include other such data, like a user's identification, travel tickets, iteneraries and more.
One of the types of things we're trying to do is make it easy for airlines, transit providers, and other types of issuers of credentials to make it super simple for them to get their credentials stored in the wallet…That's the goal. We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone and transact with that as your primary transaction device.
Google is actually not alone in these efforts. Apple already has Passbook in iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad. Although it does not support mobile payments, Passbook can be used to store virtual items like loyalty cards, movie tickets, boarding passes and IDs. Microsoft will be introducing Wallet Hub in Windows Phone 8. Online payment systems like PayPal, ISIS, MCX and others are also likely to have their own similar services in the pipeline.
Google wants to differentiate itself by going beyond payments, which is exactly why the search and mobile giant wants users to eventually leave their wallets at home. In the future, our Android devices (or smartphones from other platforms) will be the central point of all our payments, transactions and identification.
Imagine a world in which a police officer pulls you up and asks for your smartphone and registration, instead of asking for your license. Or how about entering the train platform without tokens, paper tickets or magnetic cards. The same goes for movie theaters and restaurants.
Of course, the issue here is privacy. With all your personal data on your smartphone, Google becomes increasingly influential and powerful in managing your offline life. We hope Google Wallet eventually lets us bring pictures of your spouse, kids and pets, and perhaps that lucky penny we just can't leave home without.
Check out the Google Developers Live session below.