Google announced some new features for Google Wallet on Android and iOS, including the ability to manage gift cards and redeem them in stores with the app, request money from friends, and send money with your debit card.
Google Wallet already offered the ability to store loyalty cards, so the addition of gift cards is the next logical move. You can add cards to Wallet by taking a picture of them or by typing in the card info. Then, you can just show the cashier at the store your phone with that info on the screen. Participating stores include AMC Theatres, Best Buy, Nike, Sephora, Toys R Us, and Whole Foods Market, to name a few.
It will also store gift cards sent electronically, of course. Those participating in this include Sephora, TGI Friday's, and Whole Foods, and will have emails with a "Save to Google" option.
Google Wallet product manager Glenn Thrope says, "For all those times when your friends forget to pay you back for dinner, you can simply request money using the Google Wallet app (for U.S. users, 18 years and older). They will receive a notification and can instantly pay you back. If they need a reminder, you can send them a friendly nudge from within the app. You can also send your friends a message right within Gmail, and request money just like you would attach a picture."
"You can now send money for free in Wallet by using your debit card. No more searching around for a checkbook or waiting for your funds to arrive. With Google Wallet, your money is at your fingertips," he adds.
There's also good news for Spanish-speaking users. Those that have the Spanish language settings activated on their devices will start seeing the app in Spanish.
The update is rolling out this week in the U.S.
Image via Google