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Google Wallet Update Incoming, Loyalty Card Scanning and Notifications in Tow

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I wish I could say I used Google Wallet to pay for stuff regularly, but because my encounters with NFC payment terminals are infrequent at best, I have to rely on plastic cards way more than I’d prefer.  I have, however, relied on the app’s loyalty card storage a couple of times, but entering the information by hand was such a chore. Thankfully, Google is about to make things a little easier by incorporating a new scanning feature into the Google Wallet application.

With the updated app due out later this week, you’ll finally be able to scan cards with your smartphone and have the info auto-populate – like it should’ve from the beginning. To encourage you to use that newly-scanned plastic, Wallet will also notify you when you’re near a store whose loyalty program you have saved. Hopefully, this can really help people finally get good usage out of the service.

The update will roll out over the next few days, and is compatible with Android 4.0+. If you haven’t already, grab the app from the Play Store.

Update: It’s been pointed out by several readers that loyalty card scanning has been a feature of Wallet for a while. When the update drops, we’ll let you know what has changed.

Update 2: A reworked sliding menu is part of the update (see the screenshot).

Screenshot_2014-01-30-23-06-24

Via: +Google Wallet
  • Brandon Golway

    I have never used Google Wallet (to pay for purchases). I was just at T-Mobile earlier to get a nano SIM for my Moto X and saw that their credit card device said “Tap or Swipe” and I almost wanted to use my S4 to pay but I didn’t have anything set up :-/ If more places supported NFC payments I would use it all the time.

  • phuq obama

    I used Google Wallet quite often on my Galaxy S3 until the last update removed Tap&Pay on Verizon for that phone. Now that I have the MotoX I’m about to Tap&Pay again and use it a couple of times a week.

  • Dennis Da Menace

    I used Google Wallet @ a 7Eleven while driving towards Norfolk, VA last year. The clerk looked @ me and literally said, “How da hell u do dat?!?” I replied, “…MAGIC.” hahahaha #trueStory

  • Wyveryx

    This has indeed been around for a while, though I’ve noticed quite a few stores can’t seem to scan my phone’s screen…disappointing.

  • JRomeo

    Kyle, why haven’t you used the physical google wallet debit card?

    • Kyle Wiggers

      I’m not the slightest bit interested. It’s a lot less convenient than paying with debit.

      • JRomeo

        here are the benefits that I use it for.
        1. sending instant-cash to my (brother/wife/friend/mom/co-worker/etc) whenever i’m not with them and they’re buying something on my behalf. the cash arrives in their card instantly.
        2. you can send them cash even if your wallet balance is $0 (just choose checking acct instead of wallet balance, and the cash still arrives to them instantly, when I say instant, i mean within a minute)
        3. ordering stuff online. much better to pay online with a prepaid debit than to pay with your real debit card
        4. ordering in real physical stores…. with the Target breach stealing tons of credit card info, I’m glad i used a prepaid card, not my real bank card.
        5. personal budgeting…. I transfer $100 to my wallet card… then i can tap to pay with my phone or use the physical card… that’s my 1-week budget to buy miscellaneous stuff… when the card declines, i’ve reached my weekly budget, in other words, i stop spending on misc things.
        6. receiving cash from others is really easy also. recently my mom wanted me to buy her a new desktop, she had $0 in her wallet balance, but once i told her that didnt matter, she instant-transferred me some cash from her checking straight from her wallet app on her phone to my google wallet acct. then right there on the spot i spent it to buy her a desktop.

  • fartbubbler

    is this feature like the great app KeyRing?

  • Droid Ronin

    Some merchants don’t even know that they support Wallet. I was at Stater Bros yesterday and tried paying with my phone on their NFC terminal. After a few seconds unsuccessfully trying to scan it, the cashier says “oh, what is that? You can use your phone to pay? It doesn’t look like it’s working and I don’t even know how to turn it on.” #smh

    • Tim242

      After you tap, just tell them to choose credit.

  • JSo

    I really wish the machines were at more locations. I only got a few in my town. CVS, McDonalds and Chevron. I love paying with Google Wallet. Tap and done.

    • yankeesusa

      Home depot now takes tap and pay. Their new systems now do it by placing phone on screen instead of a separate sensor. It makes it safer and less prone to tampering. Also macys takes it and most gas stations I go to also do. walgreens was supposed to do it but their systems have never gone online.

      • JSo

        We just got a Home Depot in my town. Havent been there yet though. I’ve seen the machine at Wallgreens but I wasn’t sure if it was Google Wallet compatible. I thought it was their own special type of technology only for Wallgreen Specific stuff. Maybe I should try it just to see.

        • yankeesusa

          Yea, home depot is great now. Walgreens never activated theirs due to some security issue they thought was a problem. I just think they don’t want to train their employees when someone uses their phone to pay.

  • yankeesusa

    Too bad this breaks current tap and pay on my tmobile phone. I will avoid update for now.

    • Tim242

      It did that to my Verizon S4 also, so I uninstalled the update

      • crazed_z06

        Is there a sideloadable APK that allows tap and pay to work on Verizon devices?

        • yankeesusa

          Yes, check xda for google wallet apk. There are several posts that should help. Another way to do this is to root phone and install a kitkat rom if it is available and it will run without any special apk most of the time.

          • Fresh2infinity

            False. Contrary to popular belief Verizon being Verizon still has google blocking any device on it’s network from being able to use Tap and Pay even on Kit Kat where this problem is not supposed to exists. I’m on an S3 running a KK AOSP ROM

          • Jared Denman

            False. I have a Verizon moto x and wallet works just fine using NFC. Maybe the problem is your rom.

          • Fresh2infinity

            I stand corrected

          • John Davids

            Yeah, it was 2-6 months ago that Google modified how Wallet works to get around Verizon’s block. VZW was blocking on the grounds that it accessed the secure element of the phone, thus it is not just another app and gives them the right to block for phone / network integrity reasons (reasons we all know were BS anyway…regardless…). Google either removed the need for Wallet to access the secure element, or changed how it does it so it isn’t “violating” VZW’s secure element policies. Now, Google Wallet will work on any phone on any carrier. NFC isn’t even required anymore. The only requirement involved is if you want to use Tap and Pay, you just simply need to have an NFC enabled phone.

          • yankeesusa

            Ok. So my friend with a galaxy nexus is imagining himself paying at cvs with tap and pay. Just cause it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. He’s been using it for months now. That’s probably one of the reasons why they didn’t want the nexus on their network. They can’t block it.

          • yankeesusa

            Actually my friend has been using gwallet on his nexus for a while now and there are plenty of forums that show people on nexus and moto x being able to use google wallet. There also a thread to get it working on your verizon s3: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2125300

  • crazed_z06

    Wallet is useless.

    • Tim242

      I use it every day on my Verizon S4.

    • yankeesusa

      How is it useless?

      • crazed_z06

        Cant tap and pay on most devices. When I had the GNex a couple years ago, I’d use it often with the sideloaded APK to buy stuff at 7/11 or McDonalds. Now there’s really no point to it.

        • yankeesusa

          I see your point. When you don’t have the tap and pay feature it is useless. I have verizon, att and tmobile for blocking it. Luckily the latest tweaked apk for gwallet has been working perfectly for me and if your phone is on kitkat or running a kitkat aosp rom the regular wallet will work just fine. The more kitkat is released the more widespread it will become.

        • Tim242

          If you take the time to flash a simple zip, works flawlessly

          • crazed_z06

            Root required?

          • Tim242

            Yes.

          • yankeesusa

            On some devices, no. All you need is a special apk. But if that doesn’t work then yes, root is required.

    • ToddAwesome

      I’m fairly certain it has a use. Whether or not it’s feature rich enough for you is your prerogative.

      • crazed_z06

        It’s main feature cant be used on a vast majority of devices.

        • ToddAwesome

          Fine, if that sort of thing bothers you. ;)

        • Steve B

          Get a newer device. All you need is Kit-kat.

        • Taylor Abrahamson

          Any mid-level or higher android device has NFC, That plus KitKat means you can pay with Google Wallet. Get a new device or learn how to root and install a KitKat Rom on your old device.

          • crazed_z06

            I have a new-ish phone (Note 3). I dont feel like Rooting and Romming just to use a feature in a single app.

            Ill just wait and see if it will be usable when/if Verizon pushes KitKat to the Note3.

    • Daniel Russell

      Don’t worry guys, I think he meant Isis Mobile Wallet is useless. Not Google Wallet

      • crazed_z06

        Well I was at jamba juice the other day and noticed an Isis sticker on the terminal.. Went online and noticed there’s a number of places that are starting to support it..

        I don’t have an Isis Sim though. Was thinking about asking for one from Verizon but I’m scared it might mess up my unlimited data.

  • Blue Sun

    Maybe they added more loyalty cards? Dunno just a guess.

    • Steve B

      This must be it.

  • mar_ar

    how do the notifications work? if get a notification every time i pass a cvs or a rite aid i will go out of my mind.

  • Chris

    Great…. Now I can put in my Panera Bread, Qdoba, Chipotle, Fred Meyer, safeway cards….

    /s

    • Chris

      must have foreigners who down-voted this comment.

      • ToddAwesome

        You have a serious issue with foreigners.

        • Chris

          I’m an american.

          • Daistaar

            (SPOILER ALERT)

            Most Americans are/were foreigners lol

          • John Legere

            Exactly. White men drove out the Native Americans. That’s why i always wondered why we celebrated Christopher Columbus when he slaughtered them all.

    • Erstam

      Do you actually have then scan these? Every time I have a store try to scan my barcodes it never works sms I lol like an idiot.

  • Radgatt

    I updated my Google wallet last night. This may have been the update since it says Jan 29 as the last update.

    • Steve B

      What version do you have?

      Go into Wallet > menu > settings > About

      • Radgatt

        2.0-R151-v8-RELEASE

        • Steve B

          Thanks! Just got it from AP.

          The only thing I’ve noticed so far is the look of the slide out menu.

  • Steve B

    Really? So you’re just regurgitating the mistaken article from Android Police from yesterday?

    This is really old news. Scanning loyalty cards has been a part of Wallet for more than 6 months.

    • TheDave1022

      This was posted by Google Wallet on G+ if you follow the source

      • Steve B

        Yes, I know. Someone at Google goofed. This is old news.

        • TheDave1022

          Any idea why the play store app updated yesterday? At least that’s what the additional information says.

          • Steve B

            Did yours? Mine didn’t and AP doesn’t have it yet, so I’m not sure. Play Store definitely says January 29th though.

            Regardless, this functionality has been present for a really long time. I’ve been able to scan loyalty card barcodes into the Wallet app for many, many months.

          • Tim242

            I downloaded the APK from AP last night. It broke the tap&pay on my Verizon S4, so I uninstalled the update

          • Steve B

            Do you know what the version number was?

          • Steve B

            Nevermind. Got it.

        • yankeesusa

          It may seem like an old update but as of today my wallet app says “update”. Ive been using it to tap and pay all over the place. I won’t be updating since it will break my current tap and pay on my tmobile note 2

  • BiggiePhat

    I’ve had this for months. Literally.

    • Steve B

      Same here.

    • capecodty

      Me too. Perhaps use apps before reviewing them.

  • Tom Z

    It was cool paying at the CVS with my phone. I had a few double-take looks from the people behind me in line.

    • DLGuest13

      Tom, I’ve got google wallet installed on my phone and linked to my bank acct but I’ve not been able to pay using my phone. It drives me insane because I just tried doing so at CVS- do you also have your Wallet linked to your bank acct?

      • Tom Z

        I have it linked to a credit card. I used it by going into the Google Wallet App, entering my pin for the app, then touching the card/NFC reader at CVS. The phone then chimed along with the read(I think). It just worked. I don’t have a bank account(checking or otherwise) attached to my account. I hope this helps.

    • yankeesusa

      Same here. People are like “wow, you can do that?”. by the way what phone do you have?

  • pezjono

    I still get “Oooohs” and “Awwwws” when I pay with my phone at Circle K using NFC. I constantly get asked how I did it or “What app is that?” from people.

    • Nathan Borup

      Do you tell them they have to ditch apple to use it? lol

      • pezjono

        All the time. I have to explain they need a phone that can “read the scanner” because I know if I go into detail or mention NFC I will get blank stares and glazed looks. Lol

        • nmaxfield

          i just tell people ‘you know how some credit cards have chips in them that let you tap to pay? it’s essentially the same as that. some phones have that chip in them’. easiest explanation. you’ll still get people that don’t know wtf you’re talking about, but whatever.

        • Nathan Borup

          lol gotta love iOS users…

    • John Legere

      Should tell them to google it.

    • Alex Lopez

      same happens to me! i just tell them i work for Google haha

    • WAldenIV

      Are strange things still afoot at the Circle K?

      • JSo

        Lol. Awesome

      • Allen Yates

        Hey WAldenIV, don’t forget to wind your watch!

        • WAldenIV

          Allen, give my love to the princesses!

      • michael arazan

        Even odder is the chain called Piggely Wiggely

  • morgan boyle

    i had to just check the date on this article. i’ve been doing this with google wallet for a while now.

    • TheDave1022

      Was notification in the older version? Edit: The barcodes were in older version too, so ignore that.

      • Steve B

        The current version (same version for the past 6 months or so) keeps the barcode.

      • morgan boyle

        notifications are there too! im running version 2.0-R141-v14-RELEASE. and thats the current version…