One of the most highlighted features of the iPhone, since the iPhone 5S model, has been “Touch ID”. The feature involves the use of a dedicated fingerprint biometric scanner. It has been highly useful for a number of in-app logins and other security features. For the Apple Pay service, in the recent iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models, Touch ID acts as a key component for payment authentication. When Apple has updated its iOS to version 8, we witnessed Touch ID opening up to third party developers.
Now Google has taken advantage of this and has integrated Touch ID for its payment service, Google Wallet. The iOS version of the Google Wallet app has been updated to include Touch ID login support. However, the updated app cannot make use of the NFC secure element in the latest iPhone models. Users can now avoid using a PIN to open the Google Wallet app. The updated app also allows users to access loyalty and gift cards in offline mode.
The updated Google Wallet app also offers a new option to users, the ability to split payments. One can simply enter the amount to be split and list the contacts along with shares of the total. The users splitting the amount will be notified of the settlement along with information of the actual expense. Upon receiving the notification, a user also has the option of declining. This would be helpful if you receive a settlement notification by mistake.
Here is an illustration highlighting the two new features:
Google Wallet was also updated last month to bring in some useful features. One of them was the ability to add money to the Wallet automatically using recurring bank transfers. One can schedule the recurring transfer from a bank account to the Wallet. Another feature was tracking of the Wallet balance using the Low Balance Alerts feature. User can specify a threshold amount and if the Wallet balance goes below it then the user will be notified immediately.
Apple Pay has had a positive effect on Google Wallet. The number of Google Wallet users doubled since the launch of Apple Pay. With Google Wallet being updated from time to time, it remains to be seen whether Google can create a new growth story for its payment service.