Google made two drastic changes to its mobile wallet when it released an NFC-free version for Android phones and then, two days later, unveiled a version for the iPhone. What does the new Google Wallet look like on each device? (Image: Bloomgerg News)
The new Google Wallet's interface (left) resembles that of Google Now, which presents information in "cards" that can be scrolled through or dismissed. The original Google Wallet (right) used a "tiled" interface reminiscent of a smartphone's homescreen. (Left image: screenshot; Right image: Google)
An Audience for Offers
Google Wallet has always been tied closely to Google Offers. Google already made this feature available in a dedicated Offers app and in other apps such as Google Maps, but many consumers might think Google Wallet is a more natural place to look for them.
Oddly, it's easier to find new offers on an iPhone than it is on Android. With iPhone (left), users tap a tab at the top of the Offers page to explore new offers. With Android (right), the "explore" function is hidden in a drop-down menu.
P2P, You and Me
Now that Google Wallet operates on nearly any smartphone, it is putting the spotlight on person-to-person payments instead of contactless point of sale payments, which require an NFC chip.
It's in the Mail
The new wallet enables user to send funds to people based on their email address a feature that builds on a new Gmail function that lets users send funds as email attachments.
Many More Phones
In addition to the iPhone, Google Wallet now works on any phone running version 2.3 or higher of the Android mobile operating systemgenerally most phones dating from 2010. Previously, Google Wallet worked on only 29 Android devices with built-in Near Field Communication chips. (Image: Bloomberg News)
Google plans on adding select merchant and couponing sites such as Valpak to its digital wallet. (Image: Valpak)
Through a partnership with Koupon Media, Google will allow retailers to deliver offers through Facebook, Twitter, text messages and other channels. Google Wallet is already integrated with a roster of merchants for marketing programs, including Hard Rock International, Marriot International, Avis Car Rental and Cosi. (Image: ShutterStock)
Google has made many drastic changes to its mobile wallet since the product's 2011 launch, and there's no reason to believe it's done. As Google Wallet gets in front of more users, Google will likely refine the experience and add or remove features based on consumer and merchant feedback. (Image: Bloomberg News)