Google Wallet Uses The Cloud To Support All Credit Cards [UPDATED]

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Update: American Express is not available on Google Wallet, though Google initially announced support for the card in its update. "While we are interested in the technology and remain in discussions with them about opportunities to work together, we did not provide approval to be included until we had come to terms," American Express said in a statement.

Google Wallet, which only worked well with Citi MasterCards when it launched last year, is getting more inclusive.

On Wednesday, Google announced the latest version of its NFC-enabled mobile payment platform would support all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

To accomplish this flexibility, Google changed the way it stores payment information. Instead of storing the data on the device, it will now store it on Google servers.

"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," Robin Dua, head of product management for Google Wallet, wrote in a blog post.

While the update makes Google Wallet more relevant to people with diverse financial services vendors, it does not help clear the system's most limiting hurdle—which is that Google Wallet only works with phones that have NFC capabilities.

That's still a short list. So far, it's available on five phones and the Nexus 7 Tablet.

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  • Et_hutch

    NFC isn't the problem.  The cell companies that forbid it are the problem.  I believe it ONLY works with Sprint right?  There is a pretty scary sounding S3 hack to get it to work.  I didn't bother since it only had citibank.  But if they're going to support everyone it may be worth trying.  It would be A LOT better if Google fixed the app to work regardless of the cell companies greedy intentions: "No we don't offer that service but we may decide to one day. And if you've had 95% of our users on your service for 5 years it would be inconvenient for us to force them to change.  Lots of embarrassing questions from the FCC / FTC.  It's just better for everyone -- well not so much the customers but who really cares about them - if we just lock out the entire technology until we're sure we can make at least a 40% profit on it.  Then we'll sweep in as the heroes with a fantastic feature our customers can get for only $4.99 a month!  WIN!!