Google Wallet users can now store gift cards on their mobile phone and redeem them electronically in stores. Users can also send money requests to friends, make debit card payments free of charge and access a Spanish language version of the app if they have activated Spanish language settings on their mobile device.
The new functions are available for both Android and iOS users of Google Wallet. Users can add a gift card to Google Wallet “just by snapping a picture of them or typing in the card info,” the company says. “Then, when you want to use the gift card at the store, just show your phone to the cashier at checkout.”
Users with gift cards from a range of retailers including Best Buy, Sephora, TGI Friday’s, Whole Foods Market and Toys R Us can also check their gift card balance from within Google Wallet as well as “get reminders to use your card when you are near stores”. For those merchants, they can also save gift cards received electronically directly to their Google Wallet by clicking a “save to Google” option.
Users can also request money from friends and contacts from within the Google Wallet app. “They will receive a notification and can instantly pay you back,” Google explains. “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.”