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Google Wallet gets smarter with notification improvements




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Google rolls out the latest update to Google Play Services (v24.16) for Android users, adding several new features to the Google Wallet app. One of the improvements concerns the way notifications related to your cards are handled in the Google Wallet app.

Public transport users will also appreciate the “improvements when you sign in to pay for public transport” noted in the changelog. Details remain secret. But it’s likely a smoother and more secure sign-up process for using your Google Wallet on public transportation. It may also be related to the new “Authentication settings” for transit payments. This option allows users to choose whether they need to authenticate before using their payment methods and cards in Wallet.

To add to the convenience factor, Google Wallet now allows you to scan images with barcodes or QR codes and add them as cards instantly. This eliminates the need for manual entry, making it easier to store loyalty cards, gift cards and more in the app. Support for American Express on Fitbit devices initially appeared in the changelog. However, it was unfortunately reversed. This is a point of contention for some users who previously used Amex with Fitbit Pay. Hopefully Google will reintroduce this functionality soon.

In addition to the latest update, Google Wallet has undergone many updates the past weeks. Users can now long-press the app icon to create shortcuts for their saved cards on the home screen, for faster access during checkout.

However, some security improvements have caused minor issues. Google Wallet now requires more frequent authentication. It also now asks users to re-verify their identity with every payment. While these undoubtedly increase security, they can disrupt the smooth flow of payments, especially while waiting in line.

Improvements to Google Wallet notifications

Google Wallet could be launched in India soon

In addition to the new features, a recent listing on the Google Play Store recently hinted that Google Wallet would finally make its way to India. This development comes after the app mysteriously started functioning on Indian smartphones a few weeks ago. Google hasn’t officially confirmed anything. But this sudden activity signals a possible expansion of Google Wallet into the huge Indian market.