Google had already made it easier to never forget your wallet (unless you forget your phone, that is), but now the company is expanding its online billfold to carry even more credit and debit cards.
Google Wallet now accepts all major credit cards as part of the search giant's new cloud-based version which allows the use of virtual plastic from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover while shopping in-store or online. The upgrade also offers remote disability of the mobile Google Wallet app from the Web.
The search giant on Wednesday introduced the overhaul to its digital wallet, switching things up by storing cards on a "highly secure" Google server instead of hiding them in your phone. A wallet ID, or virtual card number, is kept in the phone's secure storage area and used during transactions.
"This new approach speeds up the integration process for banks so they can add their cards to the Wallet app in just a few weeks," Google said in a blog post.
The process is simple: To save a card to the virtual wallet, just enter the printed number into your phone, and use the on-screen credit card to make a payment. Shortly after the purchase, a transaction record will appear on the phone, with the merchant name and dollar amount. All online receipts are saved in the digital wallet for instant access.
In February, two attacks on Google Wallets forced the company to suspend new prepaid cards from its virtual purse for a period of time. Google at the time promised that its app remained safe for mobile phone payments.
Following the hacks, zvelo researcher Joshua Rubin demonstrated that it actually is possible to gain root access to the Google Wallet without wiping the data, which was previously thought to the be best option for privilege.
While potential customers could be scared off from the digital wallet for fear of getting hacked and taken for all they're worth, Google has taken pains to assure folks of the app's security. A dedicated Google Wallet PIN is used to prevent anyone else from making payments with your Google Wallet, the company said.
The addition of the ability to remotely disable your Google Wallet if your phone is lost or stolen seems designed to instill yet more confidence in the payment system. In the "Devices" section of the Google Wallet website, users are one click away from turning off any connected phone or tablet.
Banks looking to help their customers save cards to Google Wallet can apply for free online.
The new Google Wallet app is available for download on Google Play.
To see Google's virtual wallet in action, watch the company's video below.