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The new Google Wallet app is a significant update because now it won’t be limited to just NFC enabled smartphones, but all Android handsets. The restriction of the app being U.S. only remains of course. So, if you have Android 2.3 or higher, you can use the latest version of Google Wallet and to send money to any U.S. resident with an e-mail address (and 18+ age). Amounts can be transferred for free from your balance on Google Wallet, a linked bank account, or with the add-on of a slight charge — any linked debit or credit card.

The removal of the NFC restrictions for currency and credit transactions itself should see Google Wallet expand its user base and become a viable alternative to gateways like PayPal. As an added bonus, after you’ve sent money via the new app, you’ll also get early access to send money directly through Gmail on your PC.

If you hanker after loyalty points, you don’t need to carry around loyalty cards anymore. Just add the card number to the app or scan the barcode.

Google-Wallet

Grab benefits from vendors like Alaska Airlines, Belly, and Red Mango. New vendors like Avis Car Rental, BJ’s Restaurants, Cosi, Hard Rock International, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Raley’s, and The Body Shop will be added soon. Offers sourced from other Google services like Google Maps app, Google Search, Google+ or Google Offers are also redeemable with the app.

The new version of Google Wallet seeks to be the tracking tool for all your purchases. It comes armed with Google Wallet Purchase Protection and a feature to remotely disable the app online if you lose your phone. Pocket the Google Wallet app on the Google Play Store as it rolls out across the U.S.

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Do you use Google Wallet app? What do you think about the updates?

Source: Google Commerce Blog | Image Credit: justinpickard via Flickr

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