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Google Adds ID Feature to “Wallet” Smartphone App

ID documents could soon be a thing of the past as Google is set to allow smartphone owners to use an app instead of traditional methods.

As paperless methods of payment become increasingly popular, the digital revolution is also set to extend to driver’s licences and other forms of identification, according to executives from the web giant.

The news raises the prospect of people ditching their traditional wallets entirely – and being able to flash a phone when asked for ID by a police officer.

The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch website is reporting thedigital titan will soon permit users of its futuristic E-wallet app to store driver’s licenses – and other forms of ID – on their cell phones. 

Theoretically, digital ID users could then download virtual boarding passes at an airport, check in for a flight, or provide ID to a police officer who has pulled you over for speeding.

‘We want you to be able to leave your leather wallet at home,’ Robin Dua, Google Wallet’s head of product management, reportedly told a Web conference this week.

There is no word yet on when the internet search company will roll out the aforementioned new Google Wallet features.

MarketWatch reports the company best known for its search portal declined comment on when it would be upgrading the already-available app, or how many people have thus far downloaded it from its website.

A Google representative was not immediately available for comment on Saturday.

Google Wallet already allows tech-savvy users to store on their smart phone MasterCard, Visa, Discovery and American Express credit cards and then pay for products with a mere tap of the device on to a scanner.

MarketWatch reports that 200,000 retail outlets across the U.S. are already offering customers the ability to pay with the Google Wallet.

Fierce rival Apple is reportedly unrolling its own proprietary E-wallet application, called Passbook, which is due out at the same time as the iPhone 5 next month.

Meanwhile, Google Wallet offers an array of shopping advantages apart from convenience. A perusing of Google’s site on Saturday revealed dozens of city-specific coupons available only to Digital Wallet users.

Still, the app., which can be downloaded through Google’s web portal, has been slow to catch on with consumers.

MarketWatch cites one survey that found that 44 per cent of people were reluctant to adopt mobile wallets due to fears of phone hacking; and only 17 per cent of those surveyed say they would use mobile wallets in any manner, at all.

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Posted by on September 2, 2012. Filed under Business News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.