Google Wallet GM Jenny Cheng announces support for new types of contactless credentials

Google Wallet stylised graphic showing phone and several types of passes

Google Wallet is to gain support for a wide variety of new types of contactless credentials, including health insurance cards and employee ID badges, and is also expanding its support for mobile driver’s licenses, state IDs and transit passes, general manager Jenny Cheng has announced.

“We will begin introducing corporate badges in Google Wallet later this year, giving employees convenient and secure access to buildings, cafeterias and more,” Cheng revealed in a blog post.

US residents in the states of Arizona, Colorado and Georgia will join those living in Maryland in being able to add their driver’s licenses and state IDs to Google Wallet “In the coming months”, Cheng added.

Google is also working with Humana to develop a digital version of the Medicare provider’s health insurance card and with the UK’s HMRC to enable British residents to save their National Insurance Number to their Wallet from the HMRC app, she said.

“Unlike my loyalty cards or event tickets though, this one is a Wallet private pass, because it contains sensitive information,” Cheng explained. “These passes include a ‘private pass’ label in the card details to easily help you identify them. Additionally, these types of passes require you to verify it’s you to add, view, and use them in Google Wallet. You can do this with your fingerprint, PIN, or other methods.”

“Additionally, we are enabling people in more countries to save local transit passes to Google Wallet. People in Germany can now save a Deutschlandticket purchased at select transit agencies to their Wallet and conveniently access all local public transport nationwide.”

“While Google Wallet already supports a wide range of pass types, there are passes that haven’t always been easily saveable to your device,” Cheng added.

“For example, I have a physical gym membership card that I use whenever I go to work out. It’s small and can easily be misplaced, but since it has a barcode on it, I’ll soon be able to simply take a photo of my card and create a secure, digital version of it in Wallet. Coming soon, this will work for any pass that contains a barcode or QR code, and is also helpful for passes like transit QR tickets, parking passes or e-commerce return QR codes.”

Also coming soon, Cheng said, “people who use Google’s Messages app with RCS enabled will be able to complete their travel check-in process entirely in the Messages app.

“They’ll receive their boarding pass or train ticket directly in their Messages app and from there, they can save it to their Wallet. We will begin rolling this out with Vietnam Airlines and Renfe, Spain’s leading train operator.

“Similarly, restaurants can use reservation systems like TagMe to send reservation details to their customers that can be saved to the Wallet for future use.”

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